Sylvie Gjerde has been eagerly waiting to reunite her two young girls with their grandparents in New Zealand but Australia's recent coronavirus outbreak could see them face another year of separation from family.
The New Zealand national living in Warrnambool said she was "gutted" about the suspension of the Trans-Tasman bubble, announced by New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern on Friday.
The suspension, which came into effect today, will be in place for at least eight weeks.
Ms Gjerde, her partner Alex Koutsoukis and their daughters Lucille, 3, and Edie, 1, were ready to unite with family during a one-month trip to New Zealand from August 2.
A training GP, Ms Gjerde said it was "quite a big deal to organise special leave" from work and was keen to take a break and spend time with her family and friends.
She said she moved to Australia in 2012 and her last trip home to New Zealand was in January last year.
"We were looking forward to seeing the family, particularly my parents - the girls' grandparents - and my brother in Auckland who has two kids of his own that are similar in age," she said.
"It's always been an aspiration to have our kids playing together. I want my kids to know their cousins, their grandparents - our family... It's difficult to do FaceTime. You want that normal interaction. It just sucks."
Ms Gjerde said her family also planned to go skiing while in New Zealand.
"I'm not sure what we will do now, probably continue working next month and then see where we are at," she said.
"We will try and get home for Christmas if we can."
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
- Bookmark https://www.standard.net.au/
- Make sure you are signed up for our breaking and regular headlines and newsletters.
- Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
- Tap here to open our Google News page.
- Join our Courts and Crime Facebook group and our dedicated Sport Facebook group