UK News The Welsh tourists told to return to the UK but can't get home

15:06  25 march  2020
15:06  25 march  2020 Source:   walesonline.co.uk

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Travel, told The Times: 'While it’s right British travellers are being urged to return to the UK , the 'Where scheduled services have been withdrawn, it should leave no stone unturned to get these people on flights British tourists who were aboard the cruise ship Braemar arrive back in UK from Cuba at

In recent days, Brit tourists have been finding it hard to return to the UK because of international travel restrictions and domestic clampdowns being introduced daily The Foreign Office says it is now working around-the-clock to help get all stranded British travellers back home as quickly as possible.

a group of people posing for the camera: Katie Lloyd, 23, is stranded in Bali with four friends as transit countries refuse passengers from the country © Katie Lloyd Katie Lloyd, 23, is stranded in Bali with four friends as transit countries refuse passengers from the country

Tourists from Wales are stranded across the world due to the coronavirus outbreak despite the UK government urging them to return home.

Welsh people stuck in countries from Indonesia, Peru and New Zealand are struggling to get home, as flights continue to be cancelled and several countries close borders.

The Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has said that all British tourists and short-stay travellers currently abroad should return to the UK where and while commercial flight options are still available.

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All British tourists overseas have been urged to return home immediately as the Foreign Secretary Around 130 British tourists and Britons living in Tunisia but trying to get home to their families are stuck Louise de Sousa, the UK ambassador in Tunis, said the embassy and stranded Britons were

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He said: “We are strongly urging UK travellers overseas to return home now where and while there are still commercial routes to do so.

"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.”

You can follow live updates on the coronavirus pandemic here.

Despite this advice, thousands of welsh people are stranded across the globe.

Bali, Indonesia

a person standing in front of a mountain: Katie Lloyd, 23 © Katie Lloyd Katie Lloyd, 23

Five women from Neath Port Talbot are among hundreds stranded in Bali due to restrictions in Hong Kong airport, where they were supposed to travel through on the way home.

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Katie Jane-Lloyd, 23, travelled to the Indonesian island with three friends two weeks ago to meet another friend who had been travelling there.

The group - all aged 23 and 24 - were due to return to the UK on Friday but due to flight cancellations and Hong Kong airport refusing transit passengers they are now stuck on the island.

Despite following follow Foreign Office advice to return home immediately due to the escalating seriousness of the outbreak, the girls fear they might not be able to return home for weeks or even months.

“When things became serious we went to seek advice from the embassy, their only advice was to look online and travel home 'if you wanted',” said Katie.

“It was then also announced shortly afterward that Hong Kong would not be taking transient passengers. Meaning we could no longer fly with Cathay Pacific through HKG.”

Katie says that no members of the group have heard from the airline and are unsure what their options are for cancellations or refunds.

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Despite Hong Kong airport declaring they won’t be taking passengers, their original flight hasn't been cancelled.

“The advice is to book a commercial flight home but many aren't running even though they are still being sold. UAE, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Singapore are all closed to transient passengers,” she said.

“Our flight was meant to be this Friday and there is a day of silence on the island tomorrow, meaning we will have no internet or access to communications from airlines.”

While some flights are being sold back to the UK via other countries, Katie says the girls are reluctant to book these are risk being stranded in another country if restrictions change.

“Of the flights that are left, we risk being stranded elsewhere as some have ended up stranded in Dubai and elsewhere.

“The re-routing options are so limited, and we risk spending more money with further cancellations or getting stuck in another country.”

While the girls did have travel insurance for their trip, they say this and future flights wouldn’t be covered due to pandemic small print. Despite restrictions and possible cancellations, they say flights are still being sold for £2,000.

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“It's a mix of emotions really, stressed, emotional, angry. I think we just want to know what's happening and how long roughly it'll take - at this rate it could be two days two weeks or two months.”

a group of people posing for a picture: Welsh tourists told to return to the UK but can't © Katie Lloyd Welsh tourists told to return to the UK but can't

Auckland, New Zealand

Nigel Taylor’s daughter, 22-year-old Chloe Luxton is stuck in Auckland, New Zealand, after leaving Wales to go traveling in January.

The family, from Cardiff, are now trying everything to get a flight back to the UK - despite hundreds being cancelled.

“We’re totally worried sick. Countries have closed borders and she is now stuck as all flights are grounded,” said Nigel.

“Chloe was originally travelling in a van but once she had to give that back she had nowhere to stay.

“We’ve managed to get her into accommodation there while she looks for a flight but that’s only for 10 days, after then she will have nowhere to go.”

Similar to the situation in Bali, Chloe has been advised to try and board a commercial flight home - something Nigel says is impossible due to cancellations.

“The only advice she’s been given is to get a commercial flight but the flights keep getting cancelled. All flights are either grounded or are not being able to stop in transit countries because of the restrictions. It’s impossible.

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“Everything is on complete lockdown, we’ve been in contact with the embassy who are just saying to book a new flight - but there are no flights taking off.

“It feels as though they are taking money for flights that won’t leave.”

Nigel says that as more countries close their borders, both Chloe and her family at home are becoming increasingly concerned.

“She’s absolutely panic stricken. We really want Chloe home. We are all worried sick for her welfare and she needs her family around her.”


a man standing in front of a building talking on a cell phone: Ffred Ffransis © Daily Post Wales Ffred Ffransis

Not long after Ffred Ffransis arrived in Peru around 10 days ago they were told they had 24 hours to get out of the country.

Speaking on Tuesday Ffred said they arrived in the South American country on an overnight bus and reached Cusco.

They were told they had a day to leave before the borders closed.

Ffred said: "It was impossible and there was mayhem at the airport."

After realising they were stuck, Ffred and his family back home in Carmarthenshire decided to launch a publicity campaign to try and get out.

They collected information from around 700 UK and Irish citizens stuck in Peru that they sent to Westminster.

On Wednesday Ffred said the first repatriation flight from Lima, the capital, leaves for London.

But the sudden lockdown also includes a complete restriction on national transport systems via land, air, sea and rivers for all Peruvians and foreign visitors.

Ffred said that hundreds of UK citizens are stuck outside of Lima, and still have no way to get to the capital to fly home.

He said: " The campaign now is to speed up the process, to ensure that no one is left behind by organising transport to the capital, and by continuing after arriving back to speak out for all those stranded and not knowing from day to day what will happen to them."

An Foreign and Commonwealth spokesperson said: “We recognise British tourists abroad are finding it difficult to return to the UK because of the unprecedented international travel and domestic restrictions that are being introduced around the world – often with very little or no notice.

“The FCO is working around the clock to support British travelers in this situation to allow them to come back to the UK.

"The Government is seeking to keep key transit routes open as long as possible and is in touch with international partners and the airline industry to make this happen.

"Consular staff are supporting those with urgent need while providing travel advice and support to those still abroad.”

Speaking about the situation in Peru specifically, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said on Monday: “I had a good conversation this afternoon with my opposite number in Peru, Gustavo Meza-Cuadra.

" Amidst all the challenges of tackling Coronavirus, we committed to working together in the coming days to enable UK nationals in Peru and Peruvian nationals in the UK to return home.”

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