Trans-Tasman bubble pause: Kiwi mother reveals grief at leaving Australian-based daughter dying of cancer

A Christchurch mother has revealed her grief at having to leave her Melbourne-based daughter who is dying of cancer as Australia's COVID-19 situation escalates.

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, the New Zealand Government on Friday warned around 20,000 Kiwis who went across the Tasman since the bubble opened and remained there, to come home.

In the middle of Melbourne's lockdown, Jayne Knight from Christchurch was hunkering down at her daughter's home when she heard the quarantine-free travel bubble had been suspended.

"When the announcement was made it hit quite hard," she told Newshub.

Her daughter Hayley Eldridge is currently dying of cancer, making the announcement even tougher.

"I don't want to leave Hayley not knowing when I will see her next," Knight said.

For New Zealand, the risks Australia's COVID-19 crisis poses now outweigh the bubble benefits. 

But there is a way out for Kiwis. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Friday there will be some managed return flights from all Australian states and territories.

But they come with conditions.

No one can board without proof of a negative pre-departure COVID-19 test. Ardern said extra teams will now be deployed in Australian airports to check. 

"This means every traveller will be stopped and checked before they can fly," she said.

For some states, there are more requirements, including Melbourne where returnees must self isolate and return a negative three-day test before ending their period. Those returning from New South Wales will still have to go into managed isolation for 14 days.

This comes as Sydney's COVID-19 crisis is escalating.

Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said she had advised the Government it had become a "national emergency".

On Friday 136 cases were reported and another death - the state's worst day.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said there is "no doubt" the numbers are not going in the direction they had hoped.

"It's fairly apparent we will be nowhere near zero [cases] by next Friday."

But while Sydney has ruled out its deadline, New Zealand has set one - get home by next Friday.   

"If you stay beyond that period you'll have to enter into the MIQ booking system like everyone else," Ardern announced.

It will tear Jayne Knight and her daughter Hayley Eldridge apart. 

"It’s really hard. It’s just tough that I can’t get on a plane and come back as soon as she needs me," Knight said.

The tough reality of the pandemic getting in the way of trans-Tasman ties.