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Caribbean: Coronavirus

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 18th May 2020.

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Photo of Fabian Hamilton Fabian Hamilton Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to repatriate British citizens stranded in (a) Cuba, (b) Barbados, (c) Grenada, (d) Montserrat and (e) Antigua and Barbuda as a result of the covid-19 pandemic.

Photo of Wendy Morton Wendy Morton Parliamentary Under-Secretary (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. The UK Government is working closely with airlines, local authorities, and governments in the Caribbean region to help British travellers return to the UK as part of the plan announced by the Foreign Secretary on 30 March, with up to £75 million available for special charter flights from priority countries, focused on helping the most vulnerable travellers.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is working around the clock, through our Posts overseas and in London, to make sure all British people who need help are receiving the support and information they need. We have brought home over 32,000 people on 153 flights organised by the Foreign Office from 29 countries and territories. We have also supported over 11,000 people to return home from the Caribbean via commercial means.

There are currently no scheduled commercial flight options available to return to the UK from Cuba, Barbados or Grenada. We are aware of a commercial flight operated by British Airways which departed on Sunday 17 May and this was highlighted in our public messaging especially to those in Antigua and Barbuda and also to those in Montserrat who could benefit from this flight. Our consular network in the region continues to provide support to British nationals who require assistance.

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