WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Every week, tens of thousands of New Zealanders play a lottery in their desperation to come home. Their prize is one of the coveted beds in quarantine hotels. New Zealand’s government requires everyone — vaccinated or not — to stay 14 days in hotel isolation as part of its efforts to curb the coronavirus. But demand far outstrips supply, leaving New Zealanders abroad locked out indefinitely. The country was successful at keeping out the virus for most of the pandemic. But the spread of the delta variant has made that impossible and the country is no longer trying to eliminate the virus entirely. Yet the strict border measures will remain, leaving New Zealanders stuck abroad feeling frustrated and abandoned.
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