New government partnership with airlines to fly back more tourists stranded abroad

Updated: 30 March 2020

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office has announced a new government partnership with airlines to fly back more tourists stranded abroad due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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 UK travellers struggling to get home.

The Foreign Secretary, in a statement on 30 March, stated:

“Where commercial routes remain an option, airlines will be responsible for getting passengers home. That means offering alternative flights at little to no cost where routes have been cancelled. And it means allowing passengers to change tickets, including between carriers.

So for those still in those countries where commercial options are still available, don’t wait. Don’t run the risk of getting stranded. The airlines are standing by to help you. Please book your tickets as soon as possible.

Where commercial flights are no longer running, the government will provide the necessary financial support for special charter flights to bring UK nationals back home. Once special charter flights have been arranged, we will promote flights through the government’s travel advice and by the British Embassy or High Commission in the relevant country.

British travellers who want a seat on those flight will book and pay directly through a dedicated travel management company.

We designated £75 million to support those flights and airlines to keep costs down and affordable for those seeking to return to the UK.

In arranging these flights, our priority will be the most vulnerable, including the elderly or those with particularly pressing medical needs, and also looking in particular at countries where large numbers of UK tourists struggling to get home.

UK travellers, if they haven’t already done so, should check Foreign Office Travel Advice and that advice is under constant review, and it can help travellers to find out more details of how to access the flights under this arrangement.

They should also follow the social media of the UK embassy or high commission in the country where they find themselves, so that they can be directed to accurate real time information, including from the local authorities.”

More information here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-government-partnership-with-airlines-to-fly-back-more-tourists-stranded-abroad

British Nationals in Peru

Update: 23 March 2020

The Foreign Office, in preparation for possible repatriation flights from Peru this week have asked for the following information of British nationals:
  • Full Name (matching passport)
  • Confirmation that your passport is valid
  • Passport Information
  • Nationality
  • Passport Number
  • Date of Birth
  • Expiry Date
  • Place of Issue
  • Gender
  • Passenger/group contact number
  • Passenger/group exact location
  • Passenger/group email address
The email they have asked British nationals to send this information to is: help@fco.gov.uk
Please add any underlying health issues or if you are over the age of 70 to the email

 

Update: 19 March 2020

The British Embassy continues to work closely with the Peruvian authorities and commercial airlines on all possible options for a return to the UK for British nationals in Peru. As part of their efforts, they are inviting British people in Peru to send their full name, location and best form of contact (ideally email address) to belima@fco.gov.uk.

They will use this information to inform British nationals of the availability of outgoing flights secured through diplomatic permissions, which exempt them from the State of Emergency lockdown.

I understand how distressing this must be for those affected and I am working with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to get this situation resolved as soon as possible.

Sign up for travel advice regarding Peru: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/peru/email-signup

Other sources

Foreign Secretary advises all British travellers to return to the UK now
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/foreign-secretary-advises-all-british-travellers-to-return-to-the-uk-now

Latest Foreign travel advice regarding coronavirus (COVID-19): https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus

Travel Advice against all non-essential travel: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/travel-advice-foreign-secreatary-statement-17-march-2020

Supporting British Nationals abroad: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/support-for-british-nationals-abroad-a-guide

Guidance for staff in the transport sector: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-staff-in-the-transport-sector/covid-19-guidance-for-staff-in-the-transport-sector

For travel advice for specific countries follow this link: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice and choose the country in question.