Coronavirus: Stranded Kiwis may be forced to ride out COVID-19 crisis overseas

Kiwis stranded overseas may be forced to ride out the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic locked in isolation in the country they're stuck in. 

As the world shuts down, more and more key borders to get home are closing too and the Prime Minister says in some cases, it will be impossible to get mercy flights to them.

Tom and Biddy, who are a world away from home in Peru, feel forgotten.

"It's a bit of a roller coaster - the news just seemed to be all bad."

They know of 56 other Kiwis stuck in Peru and they've been in lockdown for eight days.

Peru's Government has shut its borders - meaning their $5000 dollar seats on a charter flight may not take off.

"We take it as it comes but we're okay, just hoping for some good news soon."

Joy Veint is stuck too. She's been kicked off the Norwegian Spirit cruise in Cape Town, South Africa, and flights out are cancelling as she checks in. 

"I got to the counter, got one tag on the bag and the word "cancelled" comes up," she said.

"We've been dumped here - we're stranded."

And any hopes of a mercy flight like the one that rescued kiwis from Wuhan late last year look dashed.

"Some people we just can't bring home," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told reporters on Tuesday.

New Zealand has an airline but nowhere to land. Key transit links are shutting down; the likes of Hong Kong and Singapore are no longer an option to stop for fuel. 

"It is becoming harder if not impossible in some areas," Ardern said. "There are some windows of opportunity we hoped New Zealanders would have used."

But Biddy said she was disappointed. An aircraft could fly non-stop from Peru to New Zealand.

"We know it can happen - so if they are committed to helping us they can still get us out."