By RNZ

More than 1800 people have signed a petition calling for the Government to organise mercy flights for New Zealanders stranded overseas.

Citizens across the world are facing difficulties getting home with mass flight cancellations and international borders closed - including for transit.

The instigator of the petition, Suzanne McNamara, says her step-daughter has had two flights from the United Kingdom cancelled in recent days.

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She believes the government has a responsibility to try to get New Zealanders home.

Prince Charles avoided shaking hands with people earlier this month amidst the coronavirus outbreak. He has since tested positive for the virus. Video / AP

Foreign Minister Winston Peters' advice to residents stuck overseas is to shelter where they are.

The petition, on Change.org, reads: "We can not rely on commercial flights. It is urgent the Government make it a priority to act and provide mercy flights to bring New Zealanders home. Sooner not later.

Today Extra host Richard Wilkins has delivered an update to his followers on his COVID-19 diagnosis, just over a week after first testing positive. Video / Today Extra

"The health systems are and will be collapsing in over burdened countries as the virus spreads and acting urgently is essential here. New Zealanders deserve the right to come home and be with their families."

Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website