Winston Peters urging New Zealanders overseas to stay put

Winston Peters has addressed overseas New Zealanders.
Winston Peters has addressed overseas New Zealanders. Photo credit: Newshub

Foreign Minister Winston Peters is encouraging New Zealanders overseas to stay where they are amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We are reaching a point where the best option for most New Zealanders offshore is to shelter in place, by preparing to safely stay where they are. 

"This includes following the instructions of the local authorities and the advice of the World Health Organisation."

He says as the Government reached level 4 of the COVID-19 emergency alert system it has been getting harder to travel back to the country.

"Since 18 March, we have been warning New Zealanders offshore that the window for flying home was closing," Peters said. "A week later, it has now almost completely closed."

"It has become very difficult to return to New Zealand from all around the world."

But Peters says anyone with possible travel options should still try to make their way back to New Zealand, but they need to be prepared for if they can't.

"The feasibility of Government-assisted departure flights is being considered, but there are no guarantees these will be possible in the extremely complex and rapidly changing global situation."

He says travellers should register their details on the SafeTravel app to receive up to date advice on international travel.