Returned travellers staying in Rotorua's isolation hotels may be physically separated from others but this week got a reminder they are not alone.
St Mary's Catholic School students have demonstrated kindness and creativity with a project aimed at reassuring those stuck in isolation.
Rooms one and five have made a range of colourful cards comprising heartfelt messages to let returning Kiwis know they are welcome in Rotorua.
One card, made by 10-year-old Gabbi Guevarra, reads: "Hey! You don't know me but it's gonna be okay! I hope you don't feel scared in those hotel rooms. But don't feel scared! It's not your fault!
"Don't worry, it'll be over soon, so just hang in there. Thank you for going into quarantine so we and you can be safe! I send you all my love, Gabbi."
Gabbi told the Rotorua Daily Post she hoped the cards would help those in the isolation hotels feel less scared.
"We each made cards and we wrote a little note to reassure them that they'll be okay and they'll be able to go home soon. I think I would be scared because it would be kind of weird not being home," she said.
Earlier in the week,members of the All of Government Covid-19 Response Team, who would be distributing the cards, visited the school to pick them up and say thank you.
New Zealand Army Corporal Carlton Hiroa said the cards would help make returning New Zealanders feel welcome.
"We look after the people returning to New Zealand, making sure they're comfortable and know what is going on. On behalf of the people that come back from overseas and stay in the hotels, they thank you so much for these letters, it's an awesome welcome for them. Thank you so much," he said.
Bay of Plenty Police liaison for the managed isolation facilities Senior Sergeant James Keenlyside said those staying in isolation hotels would appreciate the cards.
"We thank you very much for the letters and the cards you've made. It's a reminder to them that what they are doing is good, it's the right thing, and in a little while they can go home."
Lakes District Health Board service manager and planned care services Greg Vandergoot echoed the sentiments of the others.
"Some of these people coming home haven't been back in New Zealand for four or five years so coming back is a real struggle for them. Some have no money, no clothes, we have all sorts of issues that we deal with.
"As the others have said, it's really important the community supports this. It's about keeping our community safe, it's about our own people coming back to New Zealand, we're all New Zealanders.
"It's about making them feel welcome and when we give things like these cards out to people it really makes them feel like they're home so we really appreciate what you've done."