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British Nationals Abroad: Coronavirus

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

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Photo of Tan Dhesi Tan Dhesi Shadow Minister (Transport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure that British nationals stranded abroad as a result of the covid-19 outbreak not allocated a seat on UK Government charter flights are able to return to the UK.

Photo of Nigel Adams Nigel Adams Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

We appreciate that this is an incredibly stressful time and that many British citizens are worried and frustrated. Helping British nationals who need and want to return to the UK is one of the Government's highest priorities. We will work as hard as possible to ensure that all those who have registered their interest in a charter flight are allocated a seat. Flights are based on demand and are reliant on individuals registering on the booking system. Seats are allocated on a first-come first-served basis, with provision for the most vulnerable as a priority. This is an unprecedented global event; we are working to resolve the challenges involved as quickly as possible. As of 30 April, we have brought back more than 21,000 people on 102 flights organised by the Foreign Office from 21 different countries and territories.

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