Shabana has written to the Foreign Secretary on behalf of constituent stranded abroad during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Covid-19 pandemic is an unprecedented international crisis, causing international borders to close and many countries to declare a State of Emergency. As a result, Shabana has been contacted by a number of constituents who have found themselves stranded abroad with no available travel to return the UK.
She has written to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Covid-19 team, passing on the contact information and location of constituents, asking them to deal with the case as a matter of urgency. Shabana’s office will also continue trying to reach the FCO using the consular hotline, however, they are currently overwhelmed with similar cases of British nationals abroad.
To ensure the Government continues to act in the best interests of British nationals abroad, Shabana has also written to the Foreign Secretary asking him to outline what immediate measures the Government will introduce to ensure British nationals abroad have the means to support their extended stay, should they be unable to return to the UK at the soonest opportunity.
💡 Please note: The Government has currently advised all nationals abroad against non-essential travel for the next 30 days. Please email shabana.mahmood.mp@parliament if you require your details to be passed on to the FCO. In the absence of any progress, please check for updates on the GOV.UK website.
Letter to the Foreign Secretary
Dear Foreign Secretary,
I have recently been contacted by a number of constituents who are stranded abroad in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis.
The Covid-19 pandemic is an unprecedented international crisis, causing international borders to close and many countries to declare a State of Emergency.
I understand that despite government guidance for my constituents to contact their airlines, they have been informed by the airlines that they are in no place to support their repatriation. I am also informed that British Embassies abroad have completely closed, leaving my constituents with no official support in the countries where they find themselves stranded. Furthermore, many of my constituents are vulnerable and are quickly running out of funds to support an extended stay in a foreign country.
The Government has a duty of care to ensure the safety and well-being of British citizens stranded abroad. In light of this urgent situation, can you confirm what action the Government intends to take to repatriate British Citizens if airlines cannot do so and since the embassies are closed can you inform me of the steps the Government is taking to provide stranded citizens with consular advice.
I look forward to receiving your response.
Shabana Mahmood MP
Member of Parliament for Birmingham Ladywood