British Nationals Abroad: Coronavirus

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 7th May 2020.

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Photo of Amy Callaghan Amy Callaghan Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Pensions and Inter-Generational)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent estimate he has made of the number of UK citizens stranded abroad due to the covid-19 pandemic; and where those citizens are located.

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

The welfare of British nationals remains our top priority, and we remain committed to ensuring that British travellers around the globe are able to return home. Since the outbreak in Wuhan, we estimate that over 1.3 million people have returned to the UK via commercial routes - the majority supported by our work with airlines and foreign governments to keep vital routes open. We have now brought back more than 25,000 people on 123 flights organised by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office from 24 different countries and territories.

We are aware that the number of British nationals remaining overseas is now in the low tens of thousands and our effort is focused on supporting their return as quickly and safely as possible. Over the next week we will return thousands more British nationals on charter flights from India, Nigeria, Argentina, Bangladesh, Colombia, Guyana, Honduras, Ghana, Pakistan, Nigeria, and New Zealand.

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