Around 13,500 British nationals stranded in India as a result of coronavirus lockdown have been repatriated to their properties within the UK, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) stated on Monday.
More than 30,000 British travellers have now returned to the UK on 142 particular UK authorities constitution flights from 27 completely different nations and territories for the reason that outbreak of the coronavirus.
The 30,000th passenger returned residence on a particular constitution flight from India’s Amritsar metropolis on Saturday night.
“On top of the 1.3 million Britons we’ve helped return on commercial flights, we’ve now brought back 30,000 UK travellers from 27 countries,” stated UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.
“We remain tirelessly focused on helping the most vulnerable Brits around the world get back home safe and sound,” he stated.
The FCO stated it has been working across the clock with the airline business and host governments internationally, with a 75-million pound fund for particular constitution flights to precedence nations, targeted on serving to probably the most weak travellers.
So far, constitution flights have returned British nationals to the UK from nations starting from India, Pakistan and Nepal to Bolivia, Bermuda and New Zealand.
India leads with 13,500 travellers returning thus far since April 8, adopted by 4,000 British nationals on 19 flights from Pakistan since April 20.
Over 2,000 British nationals have returned from South Africa from April 9-17, greater than 1,500 from New Zealand since April 25 and round 1,600 from Bangladesh since April 21.
In one case, British High Commission employees in India masterminded a 60-hour, 1,700-mile-long journey involving 5 completely different drivers and crossing seven states, even receiving a police escort at one level, to ensure a British citizen might take one of many particular return flights to the UK.
The FCO stated different efforts included a bunch of volunteers rescued from a distant a part of Madagascar, climbers extracted from mountains in Nepal by British Gurkhas and backpackers reunited with their households after being flown residence from South America.
“The FCO helped passengers return home by providing consular assistance, working with local authorities, local military teams and cruise operators to allow ships to dock. The FCO will continue to send charter flights to bring back vulnerable British nationals who have no other way to return to the UK,” the Foreign Office stated.
A package deal of measures to help British nationals who’re nonetheless ready to return to the UK has additionally been put in place. The help package deal addresses monetary points, healthcare considerations and visa extensions, in addition to loans for individuals who can not afford flights to the UK the place they’ve exhausted all different choices.
Some UK residents are additionally utilizing the Air India flights from completely different Indian cities laid on by the Indian authorities to fly again stranded Indians from the UK as a part of the Vande Bharat Mission.