Anthony Browne, MP for South Cambridgeshire, today questioned the Foreign Secretary in the House of Commons with regards to constituents stranded across the globe.
The Foreign Office is now advising all British nationals resident in the UK to come back as soon as possible, but with international travel becoming increasingly difficult, the Government is working closely with transport providers and international governments to ensure British nationals are able to return, ideally by commercial options, and that borders are kept open long enough for these commercial flights to take place.
Importantly, the Government has reached an agreement with several operators, which will now offer passengers more alternatives when their original flights have been cancelled. In the first instance, the Foreign Office asks that any stranded Uk resident look at the travel advice it provides online. This can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus, and is the best and most comprehensive source of information. It is also updated in real time.
A full transcript of the exchange can be found below:
I have 18 constituents stranded overseas who have contacted me for help getting home. Some of them are running out of money or medication. I recognise the extraordinary circumstances that we are in, and I pay tribute to my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary, his Ministers and consular officials for the work they are doing. One constituent, Brianna Lewis, who is in Cusco, has lost her passport and has no travel documents. She cannot contact the consular offices to get a replacement passport or emergency travel documents. Will my right hon. Friend say what someone in those circumstances should do? She is worried that if she turns up to the airport, she will not be able to get on the plane.
Dominic Raab (Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the United Kingdom):
I suggest that my hon. Friend contacts me or one of the junior Ministers and we will look into that case directly. Obviously, that creates something of a challenge, but not one that should be insurmountable.