Britons stranded abroad because of the coronavirus crisis have slammed the Foreign Office for failing to support them as they face paying up to £40,000 for a flight home.
Marine engineer Tim Johnson, 30, from Norwich, says flights from Auckland, New Zealand – where he is currently stranded with his wife Nikki – cost between £15,000 and £40,096.
Travel across the world is widely suspended as the global coronavirus death toll hit 30,000 with more than 650,000 people infected.
Britons stranded abroad because of the coronavirus crisis have slammed the Foreign Office (pictured) for failing to support them as they face paying up to £40,000 for a flight home
Mr Johnson 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.’
A flight on March 31 with Qatari Airlines to London from Auckland was £40,096.
A Lufthansa Boeing 747-400 arrived at Auckland International Airport to take German travellers home on March 27, 2020
Around 6,000 Britons, some vital NHS staff, are believed to be stuck in New Zealand.
In Kerala, India, a group of Britons aged between 60 and 83 are trapped in hospital after testing positive for the bug.
Around 1,800 people – including 220 Britons – are onboard MS Zaandam off the coast of Panama and have been prevented from disembarking for the past two weeks.
More than 130 people were infected by the bug onboard.
A Foreign Office spokesperson said: ‘We recognise British tourists abroad are finding it difficult to return to the UK because of the unprecedented international travel and domestic restrictions that are being introduced around the world – often with very little or no notice.
‘The FCO is working around the clock to support British travellers in this situation to allow them to come back to the UK.
‘The Government is seeking to keep key transit routes open as long as possible and is in touch with international partners and the airline industry to make this happen.
‘Consular staff are supporting those with urgent need while providing travel advice and support to those still abroad.’