Kiwis stuck overseas have described increasingly desperate and at times harrowing efforts to get back home as the world goes into coronavirus lockdown.

Some are even heading into dangerous territories - where there have been dozens or hundreds of deaths - in a bid to get a flight out.

Friends Karol Cooksley and Lynn MacKay, both in their 70s, are among a large group of Australians and New Zealanders who have managed to get on a ferry to Spain after the Moroccan Government earlier suspended flights out of the country.

The country has since allowed some emergency commercial flights out - but which are now causing another headache as people rush to try to get on them.

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She said there were more than 30 people in their group - five of whom are from New Zealand.

Karol Cooksley is among a large group of Kiwis and Australians travelling by ferry from Morocco to Spain today. Photo / Supplied
Karol Cooksley is among a large group of Kiwis and Australians travelling by ferry from Morocco to Spain today. Photo / Supplied

Cooksley described harrowing scenes on the ferry.

'WE HAVE TO KEEP A METRE APART FROM EVERYONE'

"It is 10 o'clock at night and we are not allowed to move or stand up.

"They have just handed out sick bags," she said.

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"It's very rough and dark. I am not sitting anywhere near Lynn as we have to keep a metre apart from everyone.

"The Police are very strict about this. We have been told it will take another three hours to get to a hotel that will take us in Granada."

The two friends are on a tour with Inspiring Travel. The group boarded the ferry in the early hours of Wednesday morning (NZT) bound for Madrid.

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"It has been a bit of a rush to get here and the last few days we have been on a bus for up to 12 hours a day coming from the Sahara Desert back to Casablanca - then onto this port."

The plan is to try to get a flight to either Australia or New Zealand out of Spain as soon as possible.

The trip is said to have been a somewhat spur-of-the-moment adventure that started just over two weeks ago.

Lynn Mackay is among five Kiwis on a ferry from Morocco to Spain. Photo / Supplied
Lynn Mackay is among five Kiwis on a ferry from Morocco to Spain. Photo / Supplied

At that time, the Covid-19 cases and deaths were markedly lower and seemed to be confined more to countries in Asia.

It was only during their travels that things started to get bad for those in Europe.

"The people we have been travelling with have been so positive and great company buoying everyone up and making sure everyone is coping."

She also praised the tour guide with the group, named only as Racquel, who had reportedly gone above and beyond to help them.

Friends Jan McBrearty (L) and Sue Davies are among a group of Australians and Kiwis who managed to get a ferry to Spain after becoming stuck in Morocco this week. Photo / Supplied
Friends Jan McBrearty (L) and Sue Davies are among a group of Australians and Kiwis who managed to get a ferry to Spain after becoming stuck in Morocco this week. Photo / Supplied

"Our families have all been sending encouraging messages as have friends. Raquel has promised not to leave us until we are safely on a flight home."

Cooksley said they were happy to have gone on the trip, but were relieved about heading home.

"As you can see people are scared and don't know what to do. I shall be really happy to see my front door again."

'I'VE TOLD HER NOT TO GO OUTSIDE AT ALL'

Another couple of friends, Sue Davies and Jan McBrearty, are also on the same ferry.

🇳🇿⚠️ Advice for NZers in Spain ⚠️🇳🇿 To prevent the spread of COVID-19 the Spanish authorities have imposed strict...

Posted by New Zealand Embassy Spain on Monday, 16 March 2020

The pair, from Taranaki, had been planning their trip for months.

Davies' daughter, Lara Greenway, said their families back home had worked hard to find a way out for them when it was realised the women were effectively stranded when Moroccan authorities shut down flights.

"They're all pretty scared over there, but the good news is that they're on their way."

Greenway said her mother had been positive at first, but was now just keen to get home as soon as possible.

She said they were keeping their fingers crossed as there was still a long way to go when they arrived in Spain - including a long bus drive.

The death toll in Spain has reached almost 500 and the number of confirmed cases has gone past 10,000.

"I've told her not to go outside at all."