I know many constituents have been in touch with concerns about family members who are overseas. I have been in regular contact with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and those tourists who are abroad, to facilitate assistance where it is needed.
The FCO are working hard to assist in the face of unprecedented travel restrictions and over the past two weeks I have assisted in helping people return home from Morocco, France, the United States, and as far around the world as Australia.
However, I am aware that constituents are still attempting to return from countries such as Australia, New Zealand, India and Pakistan.
So I am pleased to see the Foreign & Commonwealth Office announce a new government partnership with airlines to fly back more tourists stranded abroad due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The government is focused on getting Brits home through a twin approach:
- Airlines recognising their responsibility for transporting their passengers with pre-booked tickets home, through offering them alternatives where routes are cancelled, allowing them to change tickets, where permissible – including between carriers – and offering them the latest information and advice as the situation changes
- Where commercial routes do not exist, the government will provide up to £75 million financial support to enable special charter flights to fly to priority countries to bring back UK residents
The Foreign Office is best placed to help those stuck overseas, and the first point of contact should always be with the nearest Embassy, High Commission or Consular Service. Specific Embassies have set up a dedicated online page where you can register your individual details and receive up to date alerts to flights and country information.
Further to that, if you are stuck or have a family member or friend abroad, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will happily contact the FCO for guidance on your behalf.
You can read more about the new Government partnership here.