Sol3 Mio's Pene Pati hopeful he can return home before Christmas

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Fri, 6 Nov 2020, 12:50PM
Pene Pati. (Photo / Stephen Parker)
Pene Pati. (Photo / Stephen Parker)

Sol3 Mio's Pene Pati hopeful he can return home before Christmas

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Fri, 6 Nov 2020, 12:50PM

Sol3 Mio tenor Pene Pati could be on his way home from London next week after being denied an emergency application for a quarantine spot.

The performer was in Germany when authorities announced they were going into a new Covid-19 lockdown, and after other performances in Europe were scrapped, Pati was forced to head home.

However, Pati was kicked off the tarmac in London because he did not have a voucher for New Zealand's quarantine facilities.

Travellers to New Zealand must now have a managed isolation voucher otherwise they will not be allowed to board their flight. The allocation system, which went live on October 5 and applies to any flights arriving from November 3 and has been filling up fast.

"We definitely didn't account for this type of thing," he told Kerre McIvor.

"I was already mid-transit and that made it even harder, in my heart I was halfway home.

"What happens when something randomly happens and you're forced to go home but your home won't take you?"

However, there might be light at the end of the tunnel for Pati who is staying with a friend in London.

After speaking to media and getting his story out there, a travel agent reached out and has been working with Pati to find him a spot in quarantine.

They asked authorities what happens if someone with a booking decides not to fly to New Zealand, and it looks as though a spot is available.

"It might go through, I think [the idea] has gone through," Pati says.

"Fingers crossed but I could be flying home next week because someone is not using the room."

On Wednesday, it was revealed four people had been turned away from their flights to New Zealand for not having a managed isolation voucher.

The online Managed Isolation Allocation System (MIAS) was launched in early October and the need for a voucher to enter New Zealand managed isolation facilities came into force this week.

The voucher system was brought in to manage capacity during the lead-up to Christmas because the Government said there were not enough health workers and police to cope with the number of travellers arriving into New Zealand who must complete 14 days of managed isolation to stop the spread of Covid-19.

The system is booked out until December 20, locking hundreds if not thousands of New Zealanders out of a Kiwi Christmas with loved ones.