India: Coronavirus

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 22nd July 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Tan Dhesi Tan Dhesi Shadow Minister (Transport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many UK residents stranded abroad in India as a result of the covid-19 pandemic registered with his Department for flights to return to the UK by the deadline of 19 April 2020.

Photo of Tan Dhesi Tan Dhesi Shadow Minister (Transport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what estimate he has made of the number of UK residents stranded in India as a result of the covid-19 pandemic who registered for charter flights with his Department but remain in India.

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

Repatriations from India is a priority for the UK Government and we have been working closely with both airlines and the Government of India to ensure British travellers can return home. We have brought nearly 18,000 people back to the UK on 66 chartered flights from India, including some foreign nationals with Indefinite Leave to Remain where seats were available. These carried almost all of those in India who registered, were eligible, and took up the option of a flight when given the chance to do so. Since then, thousands of people, including British nationals, have been able to make use of outbound legs of Air India's "Vande Bharat" repatriation flights to return to the UK, as well as the increasing number of other flight options out of the country.

It is extremely difficult to be precise about numbers: we do not require British travellers to register with us when they go overseas or report their return to the UK via other means, while there were instances of multiple registrations by the same individual and other who were not eligible.

We continue to assess the need for any future flights and are in contact with airlines, the Indian authorities, and other governments to maximise options for returning to the UK. For any British travellers who are unable to do so, support is provided by our consular teams in India.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes1 person thinks so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.