New Zealand border closure with NSW shatters people’s travel plans | Bega District News


The New Zealand travel bubble recently burst for many hopeful travelers from New South Wales and it has left a woman Bega and her husband Kiwi feeling a bit stuck. Sir Kerry Burke and Lady Mary Burke (formerly known in the Bega Valley as Mary Davis), were unable to return home last week due to New Zealand’s closure of their borders with New Zealand -South Wales. “It’s the world, no need to get mad about it, we’re lucky compared to a lot of people because we have a house here”, “It’s not like people stuck in hotels or living with friends and things like that, ”Mary said. Mary lives in her house which was once known as Bilyara Gallery which she owned and managed for 23 years, located in Jellat Jellat, near Bega. This isn’t the first time COVID has prevented Mary from returning home. In March 2020 when COVID first broke, she was stranded in New Zealand and unable to return to visit family for 16 months. “It was tough because I have two daughters and five grandchildren and they’re all here, all of my friends are here,” Mary said. “I am part of a swimming group in Tathra, it has always been an important part of my life so not being able to come back to see my friends and family was difficult.” Mary had returned to Australia to visit and celebrate the 50th anniversary her daughter’s birthday, an event she couldn’t miss. “I took a bet that the bubb would open it up so I could go back to New Zealand again and that’s what happened,” she said. “There was free travel between Australia and New Zealand and Kerry came on base that he could come to Australia and come back to New Zealand without quarantine.” Sir Kerry, a knighted New Zealand parliamentarian, was due to fly away on July 8 to attend an annual meeting of the government executive. Like many others who had to cancel their trips, he had to credit the money for another flight, when travel was possible again. READ ALSO: Explanation: How does the Australia-New Zealand travel bubble work? Bega Flight Center store manager Natasha Leuenberger said travel to New Zealand was one of the biggest destinations for Bega before COVID. “New Zealand and the rest of the world are no longer at the top of the list,” said Ms Leuenberger. “We have had a reservation in New Zealand since COVID started and they had to cancel.” everyone is facing right now is “if we can’t go on vacation, let’s change reservations and are we excited again or just leave the country open to lala land until we can re -Reserve”. “Domestic travel has also been difficult,” something she said had never been an issue before. The main concern for customers is what happens to the process when flights are canceled or the trip cannot be made due to COVID restrictions or border closures. Ms Leuenberger said there had been a lot of uncertainty among customers and questions about reimbursement processes, with people worried about losing their money. “No one would lose their money, it just won’t be refunded, it will be a credit,” she said. usually stored on credit and can be reused at a later date. This was the case with Sir Kerry and Lady Mary Burke on the far south coast, who had to credit their flights until trips to New Zealand were over. new possible. uple will remain in Mary’s house in Jellat Jellat, until the borders reopen and they will be able to travel to their second home in New Zealand. In the meantime, Lady Mary will enjoy being back in the area and Sir Kerry has said he will use the time to work on his memoir. “I’m going to keep swimming, I swam this morning and Kerry is walking along the beach, we’ll make the most of being here. READ ALSO: Explained: What COVID-19 Restrictions Are Extended For Regional NSW



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