‘Go and hide in the woods’: police advice to honeymooners stuck in New Zealand in coronavirus lockdown
PUBLISHED: 11:28 24 March 2020 | UPDATED: 15:14 24 March 2020
A couple on their honeymoon are stuck in New Zealand after the borders were closed and all flights cancelled amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
Tim and Nikki Johnson have been travelling through the country in a campervan as part of their long awaited honeymoon.
But following the outbreak the pair have been unable to return home to Norwich and said they had had no help from the British Embassy. They are amongst more than 300 other Brits stuck in the country, with the couple in a national park near Auckland.
Mr Johnson, 31, said: “We are all stuck in a loop, flights cancelled, impossible to be in contact with operators, embassies won’t answer the phone and simply leave a recorded message informing you to contact your airline.
“The airport will not allow anyone without a ticket in, and when we asked the police, he told me to go and hide in the woods.
“The British government has left hundreds of Brits stranded here. Most of us will have nowhere to go soon, all public lands are to shut, along with hotels and hostels.
“It’s a total disaster, and we’ve heard nothing concrete from the government. They’ve repatriated Brits from Peru and Grenada already, why not here? The situation is getting desperate.”
Mr Johnson, 31, and Mrs Johnson, 32, have been living in the campervan in parks but as the New Zealand government closes parks down they are now living on public streets as all hotels, hostels and parks close.
The couple, along with other stranded Brits, are appealing directly to MPs for help. Pleas have been made on social media to foreign secretary Dominic Raab and to prime minister Boris Johnson.
Mr Johnson, an international commercial yacht skipper, added: “People need any sort of answers and the embassy and government won’t give any.
“The embassy won’t speak to anyone personally, only put out blanket statements about contacting your airline.
“The airlines can’t and won’t take calls, and cancel flights, if you call the embassy, you get a recorded message saying call the airline. No help, answers, information, anything.”