'We are in a grey area with no support': Irish couple stranded in New Zealand amid lockdown

'We are in a grey area with no support': Irish couple stranded in New Zealand amid lockdown
Lynn Boland with partner Oisin

A Kilkenny woman who was due to return home from New Zealand has been stranded in the country because of the Covid-19 emergency.

Lynn Boland from Thomastown, Co Kilkenny is stranded in Wellington, New Zealand with her partner Oisin from Dublin.

There is a full four week lockdown in place the country so it is looking unlikely that she and her boyfriend will be able to get back to Ireland anytime soon.

They had both resigned their jobs there in preparation for coming home to Thomastown to self-isolate during the Covid-19 emergency.

They have been there since April last year and are not entitled to money or assistance while there.

“We are in a grey area with no support here. We have savings but they are running out. Globally it’s all a bit crazy in efforts to get home - it’s so difficult. Flights have been quoted at 11,000 to Ireland. The demand exceeds the supply.

“All travel in the country bar for health workers or essential suppliers has stopped. The authorities here said on Wednesday night that we are on full lockdown for four weeks.

“It’s just a crazy time and we are trying to keep our cool. We don’t have a source of income between the two of us. We have savings but they won’t last forever.”

The couple have temporary working visas but are not entitled to any financial help from the New Zealand authorities.

Ms Boland added: “We’ve been on to the Embassy over here but they don’t have the answers either but they are trying to do their best for us and trying to so hard to sort this.

“We are sitting tight for now but we are wondering for how long we will be here. We are in limbo totally and we are in a precarious situation but there are thousands of people out there like us.

“There is a repatriation plane flying to Perth from Dublin and the Embassy is trying to get us on that but there is no update yet. We are trying not to worry but just focus on a day-to-day basis.”

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