Well, it has certainly been an interesting 48 hours.
After a short lockdown in NZ approx two weeks ago where Auckland went to Level three and the rest of NZ to level two due to some new cases in Auckland, everything returned more-or-less back to normal.
I’ve spent the last week traveling. Auckland and Napier to Queenstown to Auckland. Mainly for work and then headed to Auckland ready to meet my parents to head north on Sunday. We had a lovely holiday planned – Langs Beach (outside Whangarei), Paihia (where I was most looking forward to) and then to Whangarei.
I worked massive hours last week so I could work minimal hours on our holiday. I was so excited.. but it was not meant to be.
Saturday I had the best day. I flew in from Queenstown after a quick hike to a ‘waterfall,’ and we headed straight to Euro on the Viaduct for a long lunch with friends. Many bottles of champagne later, some oysters and octopus and we were in a good place! We went to America’s Cup Village and drank more champagne. Our friend was DJing so we partied on with more drinks.
At 9.30pm as I was having a lesson on the buttons on the DJ deck, I received a message from my friend (Kim), to say Auckland had more COVID cases and the area were going into almost an immediate lockdown for seven days.
It’s almost like living in a false sense of security.
My parents (thank goodness) had made it to Tauranga only and were staying there before picking me up the next day. With roadblocks in place in and out of the city from 6am, not only was our trip suddenly canceled but I had to work out how to get out, or whether to stay.
The noise of the COVID-19 alert on everyone’s phones (in NZ we have a system whereby we get a message on our phones with the update and a screeching noise ready for lockdown) in the Viaduct was one that I won’t forget quickly. Such an eerie sound. At that point, everyone started jumping on calls or in cabs.
We quickly organised some (more) champagne and headed out of the city to a friend’s place.
After much deliberation (and a sober outlook) on Sunday, I decided I’d get a flight back to Palmy. I then got tagged in a pic of the mayhem and lines at the airport and decided it was best that I didn’t fly that day. I’m glad I didn’t.
I looked into so many options. Drive to Tauranga and isolate there so I could be by the beach, drive to Palmy to avoid the airport (one way car hire is fairly expensive). Fly to Tauranga, fly to Palmy.
I settled on flying to Palmy for ease and hoped the airport wouldn’t be so bad the next day. Thankfully I was right. I’m writing this on the plane back now.
To get into the airport, to get out of Auckland you had to provide;
- Photo ID (I don’t always travel with this domestically so that was a lucky strike)
- Your plane ticket (wasn’t hard to get)
- Proof of residency (this was a challenge but thankfully my NZ business bank account has our Kiwi address on it!)
When I get back I’m going to the motel to check-in and will go for a precautionary COVID test. Because my Dad is vulnerable, we are extra diligent and precautionary.
Once I have a negative result (which I’m confident about) I will go stay and isolate with my friend in the countryside until Sunday when lockdown in Auckland ends (hopefully) and then work out what to do next.
Inconvenient but could be worse!