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British Nationals Abroad: Coronavirus

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 19th May 2020.

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Photo of Stephen Kinnock Stephen Kinnock Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to repatriate UK travellers stranded in (a) Afghanistan, (b) Thailand and (c) Vietnam as a result of the covid-19 pandemic.

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

Holding answer received on 11 May 2020

We estimate that the numbers of UK travellers in Afghanistan is very low. We advise UK travellers wishing to return to the UK from Afghanistan to keep checking our travel advice, local media, and to contact local travel agents and airlines for the most up to date information on the resumption of regular flight operations. On Saturday 16 May, Qatar Airways will operate a one-off commercial flight from Kabul to Doha. We are still working through future plans, identifying where needs are greatest, and where charter flights will have the greatest impact on vulnerable British nationals overseas. We will continue to provide consular support to British nationals who remain in Afghanistan and require assistance.

Commercial flights are still available to return to the UK from Thailand, with seats regularly available on flights from Bangkok to London. The Minister for Asia called the Thai Vice Foreign Minister on 24 April to press on UK priorities, including enabling British nationals to return to the UK.

There also remain commercial options to return to the UK from Vietnam. We strongly advise British travellers in Vietnam to return by commercial means. We continue to work closely with airlines and foreign governments to ensure as many British travellers as possible can return on commercial flights.

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