Around 40 New Zealanders are stuck in Rome without a flight home because of travel bans introduced to stop the spread of coronavirus.

The group could not leave Leonardo da Vinci International Airport because they were scheduled to stop off in Sydney on their way to Auckland.

"The issue is that the Australians have closed their borders to us, even for transit so we can't even go through on a transit flight," said Therese Macdonald, who was on honeymoon.

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She said their touring company Tripadeal had suggested they book a flight on Emirates - which was not affected by travel bans - at a cost of $5500.

"Nobody has [the money] after paying for a 17-day tour which lasted half a day and four nights confined to our hotel. It is pretty grim," she said.

The group is worried about how they will get home.

Coronavirus: Group of about 40 is stuck in limbo at the airport, without a flight home. Photo / Supplied
Coronavirus: Group of about 40 is stuck in limbo at the airport, without a flight home. Photo / Supplied

"Tomorrow is the last day the airport is open and there are cancellations everywhere, the board has more cancellations than flights out."

There are more than 134,000 confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide, a further 4900-odd had died with Italy one of the worst affected countries.

Asked about the group during a press conference in Christchurch, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she had not heard about them.

However, she urged New Zealanders overseas to register on the Safe Travel website.

Macdonald said people were becoming restless at their situation.


"We're sitting around waiting to get a motel for the night but not knowing what's happening tomorrow," she said.

"Everyone is getting a bit hungry, tired and sweaty - it's bloody stressful. Some have lost the plot, some are getting a bit sad but we're all really upset."

Macdonald and her husband Brett arrived in Italy on March 5, two days ahead of the tour group.

The entire tour group got just half a day of touring before the nation was locked down and they have had to spend their time in confinement.

"When the tour actually arrived here we were told we couldn't go anywhere. Northern Italy was closed," Macdonald said.

"That's not Tripadeal's fault, we understand that, but at that point, they should have started sending us home and they didn't.

"Tripadeal is trying to help us out but they can't do anything, or don't appear to be. People are starting to get really heated and tearful."

The group was being assisted by the New Zealand Embassy in Rome, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesperson said.