Brits currently travelling abroad have been urged to make arrangements to fly home while commercial flights are still available, in a statement from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).
The global spread of COVID-19, the illness caused by coronavirus – which the World Health Organization recently called an “accelerating” pandemic – has brought a screeching halt to virtually all commercial travel over the last few days.
Last week, the UK government urged against all but essential international travel for 30 days. But for those Brits already abroad, the longer they remain overseas – as inevitably more measures are introduced and more air routes shuts down – the harder it is going to be to get them home.
Foreign secretary Dominic Raab warned Brits holidaying overseas that now is now is the time to come home, while they still can.
Mr Raab said:
“Around the world, more airlines are suspending flights and more airports are closing, some without any notice.
“Where commercial routes don’t exist, our staff are working round the clock to give advice and support to UK nationals. If you are on holiday abroad the time to come home is now while you still can.”
“Today’s update reflects the pace at which international travel is becoming more difficult with the closure of borders, airlines suspending flights, airports closing, exit bans and further restrictions being introduced daily.”
The foreign secretary expressed a similar sentiment on Twitter, saying:
“My message to British people travelling abroad: As borders around the world close and international travel becomes more difficult, you are strongly advised to return to the UK now, where & while there are still commercial travel options available. Keep up to date with @FCOtravel.”
The department has reportedly called for international action to keep certain air routes open as long as possible, so that Brits can return home. However, some travellers have already reported difficulty returning home due to various international travel and border restrictions.
Having worked in children's media and publishing for almost a decade, Ben is thoroughly excited to now be able to swear in stories and features. He is such a big fan of Disney and Horror films that he started an LGBTQ+ podcast called 'Once Upon A Scream'. His mum listens. You can contact Ben at email@example.com. Twitter: @PulsfordBen / Instagram: @thebenmidlerFollow