More than 1500 Britons stranded in NZ to return home on UK Government chartered flights

Daniel Faitaua
Source: 1News

More than 1500 Britons stranded in New Zealand amid the coronavirus pandemic will be flown out this week.

The British government will charter three flights from Auckland and two from Christchurch and will prioritise the most vulnerable and at risk from Covid-19.

In a statement the Foreign Commonwealth Office classified vulnerable people as those over the age of 70, those under 70 with an underlying serious or complex health condition and those who are pregnant.

British High Commissioner to New Zealand Laura Clarke said her team is doing all they can to help British travellers get home to the UK

"My team and I will continue to do all we can to support those who are still in New Zealand, throughout this crisis and beyond," said Ms Clarke.

Tickets for the flights will cost £800 (NZ$1600).

Those unable to afford travel costs and have exhausted all other options may be eligible to apply for an emergency loan from public funds.

So far 2,600 Brits have returned via commercial means thanks to the British High Commission's work with the New Zealand Government and airlines.