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Stranded Britons offered emergency loans by the government to get home

British tourists stranded abroad as the coronavirus pandemic paralyses international travel will be offered emergency loans to get them home, the Government said today amid fears from some that they will be left to 'live on the streets'.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told MPs that the UK was putting pressure on airlines to help lower the price of tickets, having yesterday advised more than a million Brits abroad to return home. 

It came as a junior doctor stranded in India while visiting family pleaded for help to get her home so she can join the fight to save lives.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told MPs that the UK was putting pressure on airlines to help lower the price of tickets, having yesterday advised more than a million Brits abroad to return home

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told MPs that the UK was putting pressure on airlines to help lower the price of tickets, having yesterday advised more than a million Brits abroad to return home

Bhasha Mukherjee, 24, has been touring the world as Miss England to carry out humanitarian charity work, after taking a career break from her job at Pilgrim Hospital in Boston, Lincolnshire, in November. 

Despite her best efforts to return to the UK to resume work Ms Mukherjee has been unable to secure a flight after the Indian Prime Minister imposed a travel ban and cancelled all flights leaving the country. 

Addressing the Commons today Mr Raab said 'where commercial routes are limited or prevented by domestic restrictions, we're in close contact with the airlines and local authorities in those countries to overcome those barriers to enable people to return home'.

He added: 'We are helping to reduce travel costs by encouraging airlines to have maximum flexibility on changing return tickets.

'Where people are in real need, our consular teams will work with them to consider their options and, as a last resort, we offer an emergency loan.'

Bhasha Mukherjee, 24, has been touring the world as Miss England to carry out humanitarian charity work, after taking a break from being a junior doctor at Pilgrim Hospital in

Bhasha Mukherjee, 24, has been touring the world as Miss England to carry out humanitarian charity work, after taking a break from being a junior doctor at Pilgrim Hospital, Lincolnshire

Ms Mukherjee arrived in India at the start of March to begin a four week trip when the spread of COVID-19 took hold globally, leaving the pageant winner feeling 'guilty' as colleagues back home endured 13 hour shifts to tackle the deadly virus. 

She is currently self-isolating with family in Kolkata, in the country's east. 

The medic said: 'It was last week that everything started to change very rapidly. I started getting emails from work asking me to return.

'My colleagues were telling me they are doing 13 hour shifts seven days a week and having to do night shifts too. When I heard that I felt so guilty, I really wanted to go back to work.

'I knew how badly I was needed so I emailed telling them I was willing to come back but now I'm stuck here and I don't know when I will be able to come home.

Despite her best efforts to return to the UK to resume work Ms Mukherjee has been unable to secure a flight after the Indian Prime Minister imposed a travel ban and cancelled all flights

Despite her best efforts to return to the UK to resume work Ms Mukherjee has been unable to secure a flight after the Indian Prime Minister imposed a travel ban and cancelled all flights

She arrived in India at the start of March to begin a four week trip when the spread of COVID-19 took hold globally, leaving the pageant winner feeling 'guilty' as colleagues fought the virus

She arrived in India at the start of March to begin a four week trip when the spread of COVID-19 took hold globally, leaving the pageant winner feeling 'guilty' as colleagues fought the virus

'I had a flight booked for Saturday morning but after four hours of waiting on the runway the captain told us to disembark from the plane and all other flights had been cancelled due to a national travel ban.

'It would be really helpful if the UK government could do something to help British nationals get home.

'I know this is a global pandemic but I have no idea how to handle the situation.

'As Miss England you are expected to wear the crown and dress up but I kept looking at the news and seeing the death toll rising in the UK and I didn't feel like dressing up.' 

India's Union Health Ministry says the current number of infections is 450, with nine people known to have died from COVID-19. 

After her flight home was cancelled while she sat on the runway  the Miss England beauty queen has said she is relying on the British government to get her home

After her flight home was cancelled while she sat on the runway  the Miss England beauty queen has said she is relying on the British government to get her home

Ms Mukherjee was born in Kolkata, India, but moved to Derby with her parents and brother when she was nine years old.

Last August, the talented beauty started her first shift as a junior doctor just hours after taking home the Miss England crown.

At the start of this month she flew back to her country of birth to start a humanitarian tour with the Coventry Mercia Lions, a group that supports several international charities, and her mother, Mita.

But on Saturday Ms Mukherjee's trip was cut short and she was forced to leave her mum behind to fly from Delhi to Kolkata to stay with her aunt, uncle and grandmother after her mum was unable to book onto the same flight - missing Mother's Day with her daughter.

Miss Mukherjee, 24, is currently in isolation in Kolkata, awaiting information from the government

Miss Mukherjee, 24, is currently in isolation in Kolkata, awaiting information from the government 

Now Ms Mukherjee's mother has been forced to stay in Delhi where they left each other and stay with other family friends for the foreseeable.

Ms Mukherjee said: 'I booked the first flight I could after my last commitment in India, it was a week before we were meant to be flying to Pakistan for our next trip.

'When we got to the airport there were lots of flight cancellations. The Prime Minister of India had made an announcement about imposing a national curfew and a travel ban from the following day.

'We were hoping to be out of the country by the end of the day because it would be the last day that we could travel. I got on the flight and they started doing the safety checks.

'I actually fell asleep because it was really early in the morning but when I woke up an hour had gone by and we were still on the ground.

British National claims she was told 'money talks' by British embassy in India as tourists face the STREETS

Former civil service worker Esther Hulme, 25, from Leeds said she was thrown out of two hotels with her partner in Goa, India, as fears grow that tourists may carry coronavirus.

Ms Hulme, who was on a year-long round-the-world-trip said: 'I feel completely and utterly abandoned. I am relying of the good nature of strangers to provide support that we have not been able to get from our own country.

'We have been ask to leave two properties because of the risk they believe we pose, the latest accommodation asked us to stay indoors all times because they didn't want to enrage the neighbours, we even had to leave our money to pay for the apartment in a separate store room where it would be collected because nobody wanted contact with us.'

Former civil service worker Esther Hulme, 25, from Leeds said she was thrown out of two hotels with her partner in Goa, India, as fears grow tourists carry coronavirus

'I have called the embassy every day for the last three days. I was told "money talks" on one occasion. On another occasion I explained we were to be on the street without any certainty of shelter, they responded they don't help with accommodation... I had to spell it out to them that I was scared for my safety.'

Another British National stuck in Goa, credit control worker Stephanie Pollard, 29, told the MailOnline: 'We are worried that the situation is getting worse, and people are becoming much more hostile towards tourists now, telling them they have to leave hotels, they are then faced with the problem that new hotels won't accept them.

Ms Hulme travelling India before the lock down and coronavirus fears

Ms Hulme travelling India before the lock down and coronavirus fears

'We worry what will happen, with regards to medical attention for tourists if or when we contract the virus. The government needs to help us get back home, now. This has been arranged for those stranded in Peru. Why can the same not be arranged for those in India?'     

Ms Pollard said: 'There is no information on rescue flights home. We feel very much abandoned and are increasingly hearing of other countries that are organising to get their citizens out of India despite the flight ban they are able to arrange this, yet the UK government cannot.'  

'I asked the flight attendant and she told me they were trying to fix a technical problem with the aircraft. After another couple of hours the captain asked the passengers to disembark from the plane and told us that it wouldn't be going.

'It was such an anxiety provoking situation I thought how am I going to get home and back to work.  

'Everyone was crying, desperately trying to get home. I felt like a refugee. Now I'm here I'm having to self isolate because my grandmother is 92 and vulnerable. I'm literally stuck in my room feeling completely useless.' 

A single rescue flight has been put on to bring British Nationals home from Goa, south India, tomorrow after tourists were reportedly thrown out of their hotels amid the coronavirus outbreak.  

Up to a million UK tourists are believed to be stranded abroad, with the British High Commission in India announced this morning that it would be putting on another TUI flight tomorrow, with just 123 seats available, after an earlier flight filled up.

Four 'key worker' British Nurses stranded in Cambodia as all air travel is cancelled to the UK

In Cambodia a total shutdown of airlines has meant many feel they are left without a way out. 

Elaine Morley one of four British nurses stuck in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, told Sky News: 'The consular support is not there, this is all we got .. a leaflet. Nobody can help us get home or help financially, can anybody help us find accommodation.

'There are no other ways of getting home, we've looked at connecting routes, land borders, but even as you book the flights within 30 minutes you get an email saying its cancelled.

'We just can't get home, we can't find any route. And we've done all this ourselves British embassy haven't done anything at all. We are key workers we work at a mental health hospital as nurses and we were supposed to be home tomorrow.'

'We just don't know where to turn to. Before we left we contacted everyone and they said it was ok to travel. Holiday insurance says we can claim but not until we get home so we've paid for two flights upfront but still haven't got home.'

The 1.50am flight from Goa to Manchester is now full, with the high commission warning 'we cannot guarantee the availability of seats '. 

Among those who remain stranded is credit control manager Stephanie Pollard, 29, currently in Goa, who has revealed that tourists are being told to leave their hotel rooms.

Ms Pollard told the MailOnline: 'We are worried that the situation is getting worse, and people are becoming much more hostile towards tourists now, telling them they have to leave hotels, they are then faced with the problem that new hotels won't accept them.

'We worry what will happen, with regards to medical attention for tourists if or when we contract the virus. The government needs to help us get back home, now. This has been arranged for those stranded in Peru. Why can the same not be arranged for those in India?'     

Ms Pollard said: 'There is no information on rescue flights home. We feel very much abandoned and are increasingly hearing of other countries that are organising to get their citizens out of India despite the flight ban they are able to arrange this, yet the UK government cannot.'  

British Nationals in Pakistan charged the cost of four flights for a single journey to the UK

Thousands of British Nationals stranded in Pakistan have been 'left without answers from the Foreign Office' after the Islamabad embassy shut its doors without warning along with the city's international airport.

The country saw a spike in coronavirus cases overnight, taking Pakistan's total to 800, with its first death recorded yesterday - an individual who had attended a feast of 2,000 people in the 10 days before his death.    

Now an official government enforced lock down has meant British Nationals attempting to speak to consulates in Islamabad were turned away from the embassy.  

A notice outside of the British High Commission in Islamabad, Pakistan

A notice outside of the British High Commission in Islamabad, Pakistan 

British National Nahid Khaliq, who was on a three week trip visiting family in Rawalpindi near Islamabad said: 'I have been left abandoned and stranded in Pakistan, the FCO have urged british citizens to return to the UK, I am desperate to do so but the airports have shut down and so has the embassy.

British National Nahid Khaliq, who was on a three week trip visiting family in Rawalpindi near Islamabad and has not received any response from the British Embassy

British National Nahid Khaliq, who was on a three week trip visiting family in Rawalpindi near Islamabad and has not received any response from the British Embassy

'I have no point of contact as the FCO phone line is just ringing and the British Embassy in Pakistan has no one in the office to speak with - despite taking risks and attending in person today.'  

Adding: 'The British High Commission is telling us to book flights from Qatar Airways from Islamabad but the airport is closed. Online the airline is selling flights for extortionate price, over £1000 for one way.

'I will pay the price to get home but many won't be able to. 

'The risk of the virus here is high as people live in joint families with elderly and the young. (...) I am currently living with my elderly aunt who is in her 70s.'

The lock down comes as an education minister in Pakistan's southern Sindh province says he has tested positive for the coronavirus, although he did not visit any hospital where infected people are being treated.

Saeed Ghani urged people to follow the policy of social distancing to avoid the disease. He said he still had no symptoms of the infection and he has isolated himself at home. 

The lockdown also has been extended to Pakistan's part of disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir after a person was tested positive there.

British couple stuck alone in a hotel in the Philippines - and it wants them to leave 

The coronavirus lockdown has left a British couple stuck alone in a hotel in the Philippines - and it wants them to leave.

Georgina Lodge, 27 and her partner James Hepworth, 28, were in the El Nido area of Palawan when all flights off the island were cancelled.

The couple, from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, have spoken of their fear of being left on the streets after apparently being unable to get help from the UK authorities.

They contacted the British Embassy four days ago looking for help but have heard nothing back.

It comes as all UK citizens who are currently abroad were advised to head home as soon as possible.

Georgina said the quarantine was now tightening and they had been told they can't leave the hotel, even to get food.

Georgina said: 'We have been told 'if we don't like it we can go to another hotel'.

'Obviously this won't be possible as law bans hotels from taking new guests as the moment.

'We have made contact with the embassy who have given us details for the tourism office of the Philippines.

'We passed on our details and awaited news on a potential flight to the mainland.

'This was four days ago and today we heard from the tourism office that no more flights are scheduled to leave Palawan to an international airport, meaning we are essentially stuck on the Palawan island, unable to leave the hotel and with no idea for how long.

'We are becoming worried regarding our relationship with our hotel as we hear other tourists have been told to leave with nowhere to go.

'We feel increasingly uncomfortable and are seeking urgent assistance to leave.

'Countries such as Germany, France, Canada and the Czech Republic have organised humanitarian flights for their citizens but where is the help from the UK? Sadly elusive.'

James said: 'We're reliant on untrustworthy snippets of information at the moment.

'Even though official outlets such as the British Embassy in Manila and 'El Nido Tourism' advise us 'sweeper flights' are available we've heard that these get cancelled due to them being oversubscribed and we receive no further information, such as where to purchase them and how to get to the airport.

'To enter the international airport you have to provide evidence of an onward international flight within 24 hours.

'We've spoken to many British people who have booked these international flights and subsequently their domestic flight has been cancelled, leaving them out of pocket with the additional stress of having to chase unresponsive airlines for a refund.'

A spokesperson for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said it had teams around the world working urgently to ensure that governments had sensible plans to enable the return of British and other travellers.

The FCO added: 'We recognise that any British people currently overseas may be nervous about the impact of coronavirus on their travel and their health.

'We are in close contact with travel providers and our international partners to provide support to those British people affected by ongoing measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.'

The FCO said it was working to keep borders open for a sufficient period of time to enable returns to take place on commercial flights, wherever possible.

The Government is also working with airlines to ensure as many people as possible can get commercial flights home and welcomes the efforts they are making.

It advised anyone stuck overseas to read and follow the FCO travel advice and the advice of the local authorities where you are and to contact their airline, tour operator and travel insurer to find out what support they can offer.

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