Thousands of Kiwis in Melbourne desperate for information on how to get home

Thousands of Kiwis in Melbourne are desperate for information from the New Zealand Government about how to get home. 

Victoria is enduring its most intimidating COVID-19 outbreak, battling a variant of the virus their Acting Premier James Merlino says is "quicker and more contagious".  

Melbourne's lockdown was extended for another seven days on Wednesday as the outbreak ballooned to 60 cases and more than 350 exposure sites.

Kiwis Tom and Hope are hunkering down in a Melbourne Airbnb. But it's not an extended holiday - the couple sold up in the Australian city, packing their lives away. Without the outbreak, they would have moved home four days ago. 

Hope says they're "feeling a bit frustrated, upset and stressed and everything you can imagine people do feel right now".

They're now living and paying day by day.

"It's the uncertainty," Tom says. "If we even had a vague idea of what's ahead and what to plan for, we could take the right steps. 

"There's no negotiating in a pandemic. It would just be nice to be heard and someone reach out and say we exist and they know we're here."

It won't be until the final hours of the ban on travel that Kiwis stuck in Melbourne will learn how much longer it will last. It's supposed to lift at 8pm on Thursday, but many Kiwis are bracing for an extension.

Words heard back in New Zealand at the COVID-19 update on Wednesday did little to settle nerves. Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said the pandemic was "probably not even halfway" and that "we might be at the end of the beginning".  

The virus has also just done what New Zealand officials fear, it crossed a border.

Residents in the small beachside towns of New South Wales were out early getting tested after an infectious traveller from Melbourne holidayed for two days in their area.