Gary and Emily
A Co Kildare man under Covid-219 lockdown in New Zealand is finally expected to get home in a fortnight.
Gary Kelly (22) from Broadford and his girlfriend Emily Healy from Nenagh, who have been living in Christchurch since October 2019, were quickly running out of travel options and money in their battle to get home.
However they are now hoping they will get on a long haul flight leaving with stop-overs in Australia and Qatar.
Gary said: "We’ve just recently booked flights that are leaving Christchurch on the 15th transiting through Sydney and Doha.
"These flights were never available before but we luckily spotted them so hoping that they go ahead."
New Zealand declared a state of emergency last week due to the coronavirus outbreak and a lockdown came into force at midnight on March 24.
Gary said Irish people in New Zealand are forking out thousands of euro to get on a flight home.
He explained: “There are many Irish citizens after spending upwards of NZ$12,000 (€6,550) to try and get home to no avail, leaving many stuck, like me.”
The number of coronavirus cases in New Zealand has surged and the government imposed self- isolation for everyone with all non-essential services, schools and offices to be shut for a month.
Gary and Emily, who both worked in the construction industry, also called for support payments for Irish citizens abroad.
Gary had previously booked flights from Christchurch to Dublin only to discover they were cancelled at the last minute as the country tightened travel restrictions amid the pandemic.
Gary explained: “I would like to call on the Irish government to establish some sort of welfare payment plan for these people as well as myself as we are not entitled to any sort of benefit payment in New Zealand."