Lockdown leaves families trapped and separated abroad and at home

As New Zealand entered its first official day of lockdown, travellers in and out of the country have been among those dealing with major uncertainty. 

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A number of Kiwis are facing their new reality after last night’s deadline. Source: 1 NEWS

Families have been desperate to reunite with relatives trying to return from overseas while travellers here in New Zealand are anxiously trying to make their way home.

For Liam Itama and his eight-month-old daughter Leihana, the last couple weeks can be summed up in just a few words, very frustrating. 

Mr Itama had come to New Zealand from Rarotonga for a back operation. 

Mr Itama’s Swedish partner Malin Horting, was meant to join them but border restrictions kicked in before she could, now she’s stuck a very long way from her little girl.

“It’s the most crucial thing in her life that she needs both of her parents together,” he says. 

Messages to officials left them feeling like they were going in circles, says Mr Itama.

As for Tim Johnson, it was his dream honeymoon that was turned upside down. 

He and his wife are stuck in a regional park near Auckland, having been told by police to stay there. 

“Unofficial advice basically was just to go hide in the woods,” he says. 

As they wait for assistance from the British consulate, they’re having to seek help from strangers. 

Whereas for Kiwis finally touching home, they’re relieved. 

For one group, while away in Antarctica, the world seemed to shift having been stuck in an enforced week long quarantine on a boat off the coast of Argentina. 

While some families can sleep a little easier tonight, for many their stress and uncertainty isn’t going away any time soon.