ISLANDERS STUCK ABROAD GIVEN LIFELINE THANKS TO GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION

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Islanders and their families stranded abroad because of coronavirus will be able to get back to the UK following an arrangement struck between the Government and the airlines industry.

The global travel situation caused by coronavirus has led to many people becoming stranded overseas. This is an unprecedented challenge with many countries closing borders and imposing travel restrictions with little warning. This has left many Islanders struggling to get home.

Virgin, Easyjet, Jet2 and Titan Airways have today (Monday) signed a memorandum of understanding negotiated by the Foreign Secretary and Transport Secretary. British Airways have also made clear that they will work with the Government in the national interest to get people home, and other airlines are expected to join.

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The Secretaries of State have published a joint letter to the airlines. The Government is focused on getting Brits home through a twin-track 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 – operated by the airlines above and others – to fly to priority countries to bring back UK residents.

Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, said:

“This is a worrying time for many British citizens travelling abroad. We’ve already worked with airlines and governments to enable hundreds of thousands to return home on commercial flights, and we will keep as many of those options open as possible.

“Where commercial flights are not possible, we will build on the earlier charter flights we organised back from China, Japan, Cuba, Ghana and Peru. The arrangements agreed today will provide a clearer basis to organise special charter flights where Britons find themselves stranded. Our priority will always be the most vulnerable”.

British tourists stranded abroad who want to return to the UK should first check if there are commercial routes available by visiting the airline websites, FCO Travel Advice pages for the country they are in and local British Embassy social media.

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If there are no commercial options, they should visit the Travel Advice pages and sign up to alerts for their location and follow Embassy social media and email updates. When special return flights become available, these will be advertised by the Embassy and British nationals on Travel Advice Pages and Embassy social media and those who have registered for updates will be contacted via email. British nationals will be asked to register their interest through our booking agents CTM.

The Government continues to urge countries around the world to keep transit hubs, airports and airspace open to ensure travellers are able to return to the UK. The Foreign Secretary has spoken to over 20 of his counterparts to support this effort and we have helped hundreds of thousands of British tourists return from all over the globe including 8,500 from Morocco, around 5,000 from Cyprus, and an estimated 150,000 from Spain.

 

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
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Knighton
Knighton
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One must ask do we really want selfish people back here, if they left when the knew the stakes were so high, and for the risk of losing a deposit, will now kill many more on their return to the Island.

Clearly some had no choice if working away, but I wonder how many did and selfishly went.

Mary
Mary
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Had absolutely no idea when left for Tenerife. Dont just presume we are all selfish idiots please

James Edwards
James Edwards
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I have to say I agree with you.
ANYONE who has chosen to travel abroad since the severity of this disease became apparent (and anyone with an ounce of common sense would know) and that is before the official U.K. Government Lockdown was being exceedingly selfish. I know it is unfortunate to lose your deposit/payment if you opted to cancel prior to an official instruction, but I am pretty sure that most Insurance Companies would end up paying out if enough pressure (aka bad publicity) was exerted.
Sorry, sounds hard, but stay where you are…your choice, learn to live with it.

There are COUNTLESS people in this country who work in the leisure and hospitality industries who will not benefit from the furlough payments as the vast majority will not have been employed at the qualifying date for payment. The best they can hope for is a relatively paltry benefits payment.

Stay at home
Stay at home
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The government is spending 75 MILLION POUNDS bringing these “British nationals” back here to this country and so to the Island too. Anyone going abroad should expect to have to stay there for a while if something like this breaks out, where they could be endangering other people by coming back.

if they are abroad and a war breaks out there in the country they are in, then of course they should be brought back, but this is something where they should be made to stay put and allow the country where they are to protect them.
Presumably they have not gone to somewhere ‘dodgy’ but most likely charming holiday destinations, so stay there until the outbreak is under control.

If those demanding people had been left in Wuhan instead of being brought back, this wouldn’t be happening now. they should have stayed there until it was safe to leave.

Rayoflight
Rayoflight
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I hope that they will all go straight into quarantine as soon as they get here

West Wighter
West Wighter
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I had a holiday booked 4 weeks ago and cancelled it, lost about £400 rest covered by holiday insurance.
I’d rather lose out than catch corona, or worse still pass it someone with out knowing.
We need to look out for the elderly and help each other where we can.
Stay safe.

Islander
Islander
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Sorry for the loss of £400 but good on you mate you’ve done this country a service by not being selfish.

Mary
Mary
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Absolutely…we more at risk from uk and island. Further on in lockdown than people at home.

Mark
Mark
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Great, so they go away for a nice holiday and then expect the tax payer to bring them back….. they should stay on “holiday” until this is over. If they have it they will only spread it, as most will not self isolate or go into quarantine.

none given
none given
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Those that have gone on hoilday and expect a government air taxi home should be billed for the cost of their seat.

That money spent on air taxis for those lucky enough to have the cash to go on holiday in the first place, could be better spent getting those “furloughed” closer to 100% of their wages and not 80%

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