Great Britain

Coronavirus map LIVE: Britons STRANDED abroad as airlines charge £40,000 for flight home

Britons stuck in foreign countries have hit out at Boris Johnson's Government for failing to help them, as many say they have been left without guidance or assistance as several UK embassy's closed last week. Prices of return flights have also skyrocketed, with a Qatari Airlines flight from Auckland to London on March 31 costing a whopping £40,096 (NZ$83,534). Other flights start from about £15,000. Those stranded say they have received little guidance from the Foreign Office on how to get home, and fear they may be stuck there for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic.

Many Britons are urging the Government to mirror the efforts of European countries, who have sent planes to repatriate their citizens at affordable prices.

Tim Johnson, a marine engineer from Norwich who is stuck in Auckland with his wife Nikki, told the Observer: “The cost of the flights has been far out of reach of the people stranded.

"Yet the embassy and Foreign Office lauded these flights as a diplomatic breakthrough.

“The German government chartered a whole bunch of Lufthansa and Condor planes.

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8.16am update: NHS to 'check-in' on Britons with COVID-19 symptoms

The NHS will send regular check-in texts to people who are self-isolating after becoming ill with coronavirus symptoms. 

The Government launched the new service on Saturday, which will send daily messages to patients who register their symptoms and contact details with the 111 online service.

"A lot of Europeans have been repatriated without needing to kick up a fuss."

About 6,000 Britons, including NHS workers, are believed to be stranded in New Zealand.

Elsewhere, Britons are struggling to return from India, the Philippines and Panama - where hundreds are trapped on a cruise ship after several passengers tested positive for coronavirus.

A spokesman said the Foreign Office was “working around the clock to support British travellers” and seeking to keep key transit routes open as long as possible.

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