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British Nationals Abroad: Coronavirus

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 20th May 2020.

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Photo of Preet Kaur Gill Preet Kaur Gill Shadow Secretary of State for International Development

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many UK citizens stranded abroad have (a) made enquiries, (b) applied for and (c) been granted an emergency repatriation loan as at 7 May 2020.

Photo of Nigel Adams Nigel Adams 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.

British nationals and UK residents who are overseas and wish to return to the UK, but cannot afford travel costs and have no other options for getting funds to return home, may apply for an emergency loan from the Government as a last resort. Only basic costs can be included in a loan, usually the cheapest one-way ticket to the UK.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) usually issues around 250 emergency repatriation loans per year and so far, this year, has approved over 1,000 loans. Some loans are still being processed. Since 7 April 2020, the FCO has been working with Corporate Travel Management (CTM), which is authorised to administer such loans on behalf of the FCO, to extend the FCO's capacity to consider loan requests from British nationals.

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