UK's worsening COVID-19 outbreak making it near-impossible for New Zealanders to get home

The worsening COVID-19 outbreak in the UK is making it close to impossible for many Kiwis trying to get back home.

More than 40 countries have closed their borders to the UK leaving very limited flight options because travellers can't transit through certain countries.

Jenny Taylor is desperately trying to get back home to her husband Andy and her daughter Maddie.

She was meant to fly to Auckland and start her managed isolation on the 30th but now with COVID worsening in the UK that could be months away.

"Kent is just rife with COVID, it is quite phenomenal, and incredibly scary actually," she says.

Taylor travelled to the UK in November hoping to say goodbye to her father before he passed away.

"And unfortunately - sorry I'm going to get emotional. He died while I was in the air," she says.

As soon as she knew when his funeral would be she booked a ticket to return home and her managed isolation voucher.

But with COVID-19 cases in the UK rapidly rising and several new super-infectious strains of the virus detected, other countries started banning travellers from the UK. And that means Taylor won't be able to get on her flight that has a Singapore transit.

"And now there's no managed isolation slots until - I think the earliest I could find today was the 8th of March," she says.

She's far from the only stuck Kiwi. Managed Isolation and Quarantine says from its passenger data between eight and 20 New Zealanders each day will be affected in a similar way.

"I've heard of people just waiting online all day and just clicking the refresh button over and over again until they can get a date that matches up with a Qatar or Emirates flight that is able to get through to Auckland," another Kiwi stuck in the UK says.

Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) says it is aware New Zealanders in the UK are being caught out by the new international border restrictions but they say the reality is there is finite capacity.

Within the MIQ system it released some vouchers on Thursday night but recommends people keep checking to see if spaces open up on the dates they need.

"I just want to say to both Maddie and Andy I hope I'll be home soon, I love you more than words can say and I miss you both very very much and hopefully we'll get something sorted," Taylor says.

A simple Christmas wish from the many who haven't been able to get home to their families - that they'll be reunited sooner rather than months into 2021.