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British Nationals Abroad and Foreign Nationals: Coronavirus

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

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Photo of Seema Malhotra Seema Malhotra Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions) (Employment)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent estimate he has made of the number of (a) UK nationals and (b) British residents who are non-UK nationals who have been stranded overseas as a result of the covid-19 pandemic.

Photo of Seema Malhotra Seema Malhotra Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions) (Employment)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what estimate he has made of the number of (a) UK nationals and (b) British residents who are non-UK nationals, who were stranded abroad on 7 May 2020.

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

We estimate that the number of British travellers that may still require support to return home across the globe is now in the low tens of thousands. It is difficult to be more precise, including in relation to the numbers on 7 May, because there have been instances of multiple registrations by the same individual and people not reporting their return to the UK via other means. Our priority has been to get British travellers home. But, exceptionally, during the crisis, where there is space on HMG repatriation flights we are seeking to help vulnerable non-British UK residents with indefinite leave to remain return to the UK. This goes beyond what we usually do, since our consular assistance is ordinarily for UK nationals.

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