German tourists stranded in New Zealand by the country’s coronavirus lockdown have finally been allowed to leave on charter flights home, while British tourists in a similar situation have also begun to leaveBy NICK PERRY Associated PressApril 6, 2020, 5:33 AM3 min readWELLINGTON, New Zealand — German tourist Steffen Schmieg joked on Monday that his last option for getting home from New Zealand was to swim. Schmieg is among an estimated 100,000 tourists who found themselves stranded in New Zealand after it went into a strict lockdown 12 days ago in an attempt to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Late last week, officials relaxed the rules enough to allow tourists to begin catching connecting domestic flights and for charter flights to start operating. About 12,000 Germans have signed up for a repatriation program and on Monday, Schmieg joined dozens of other Germans at the Christchurch Airport to catch a flight back to Frankfurt. The flight was chartered by the German government. Schmieg, 26, said he traveled to New Zealand a month ago to visit a friend and tour the country. He managed to see his friend in time but has been holed up at an Airbnb since the lockdown

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