Former Eastbourne MP leads call for him and other holidaymakers to be repatriated from New Zealand

Ex-Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd, who is stranded in New Zealand due to the coronavirus outbreak, is leading the call for all holidaymakers there to be repatriated.

Tuesday, 24th March 2020, 8:54 pm
Stephen and Cherine SUS-200324-203809001

Mr Lloyd and his partner Cherine arrived in Auckland at the beginning of March on the first stop of a holiday in New Zealand and Australia.

They toured the North Island and headed to the South Island staying with friends and family but were then told their route home via Sydney in Australia on April 2 would have to be brought forward.

But then Australia closed its borders and when Singapore closed as a transfer airport, the couple said they realised they were stranded in New Zealand.

Eastbourne New Zealand SUS-200324-203538001

Mr Lloyd told the Herald last night (Tuesday), “Initially we didn’t think there was any problem but when Singapore closed as a transfer airport, it meant Cherine and I were stuck as airlines and countries closed all over the show due to the coronavirus outbreak.

“New Zealand, “ said Mr Lloyd, “is now on lockdown so this is where we are at.”

The former MP, who represented Eastbourne for seven years, said he joined a WhatsApp group and discovered hundreds of other UK residents – including holidaymakers and backpackers – are also stuck in New Zealand.

He said, “We are stuck here and we could be here for at least another four weeks. I hope the UK government will repatriate us back home.”

Mr Lloyd said he and others are in touch with the High Commissioner for the UK in New Zealand and remain hopeful.

He also said that he had received a number of messages from people living in Eastbourne whose family members live in New Zealand and offered help.

The couple have also paid a visit to the small town of New Zealand’s Eastbourne, a suburb of Lower Hutt city in the southern North Island with a population of 4,665 people.