MPs urge Britons who were stranded abroad by coronavirus to share stories

Britons who were stranded abroad because of coronavirus have been urged to share their stories with MPs examining the Foreign Office’s response to the crisis.

The Commons Foreign Affairs Committee issued the call to see how effective the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) was at helping get people back to the UK, and whether embassies are providing a consistent and effective service.

Committee chairman and Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat said: “The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has left tens of thousands of British citizens stranded and in need of urgent consular support.

“In some cases these individuals are key workers; police officers, nurses and doctors, who are desperate to return to their lives in the UK and to aid in our effort to combat the spread of coronavirus. Sometimes they are people who are running out of essential medication.

Foreign Affairs Committee
Tom Tugendhat said people’s stories have the potential to direct the focus of the committee (Niall Carson/PA)

“Embassies and consular services are the backbone of the FCO’s work abroad and the current pandemic has placed this system under considerable strain.

“At moments of acute crisis like this, the FCO’s role representing and protecting Britons abroad becomes more important than ever.

“The Foreign Affairs Committee wants to hear from those who have recent experiences, both positive and negative, accessing and utilising consular services during the Covid-19 pandemic

“We need to hear from you. Your story has the potential to direct the focus of the committee and to hone our understanding of the problems that British citizens stranded abroad face.”

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announced last week that “tens of thousands” of stranded British travellers would be flown home under a new partnership between the Government and airlines.

The deadline for submissions, via the committee’s website, is April 13.

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