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British Nationals Abroad: Repatriation

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 4th February 2020.

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Photo of Nick Thomas-Symonds Nick Thomas-Symonds Shadow Solicitor General, Shadow Minister (Home Office) (Security)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to repatriate UK citizens from China in response to the Coronavirus.

Photo of Heather Wheeler Heather Wheeler The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

As the Foreign Secretary said on 30 January, the safety and security of British nationals will always be our top priority. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is in crisis mode to respond to those British Nationals affected by the outbreak of the Coronavirus. Our Embassy in Beijing and consular teams remain in close contact with British nationals in the region to ensure they have the latest information they need. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office organised a repatriation flight for British Nationals and other entitled persons in Hubei Province which landed on 31 January at RAF Brize Norton, carrying 83 British nationals, including some Government staff and medics, and 41 foreign nationals. On 2 February, we successfully evacuated a further 11 people – 7 British nationals and 4 dependents. They landed at RAF Brize Norton and were transferred to an isolation facility upon arrival. These figures were correct as of 4 February. We remain in close contact with the Chinese authorities and are working with international partners to provide other ways for British nationals still in Hubei to return home.

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