UK government links up with airlines to fly stranded Britons home

Up to £75m has been set aside to repatriate UK nationals

In this handout photo provided by 10 Downing Street, Britain's Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab answers questions from the media via a video link during a media briefing on coronavirus in Downing Street, London, Monday, March 30, 2020. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (Pippa Fowles/10 Downing Street via AP)
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UK Foreign Minister Dominic Raab on Monday said the government was working with airlines to take home tens of thousands of stranded British travellers.

British Airways, Virgin and EasyJet will fly home Britons who are stuck in countries where commercial flights have been stopped.

“This is a worrying time for many British citizens travelling abroad," Mr Raab said on Monday.

“We’ve already worked with airlines and governments to enable hundreds of thousands to return home on commercial flights, and we will keep as many of those options open as possible.

"Where commercial flights are no longer running the government will provide support for special charter flights to help British nationals back home."

Up to £75 million ($92.9m/Dh341.2m) has been set aside to take stranded UK travellers home.

The flights will be set up first in countries with the largest numbers of British travellers.

Local health care and ease of travel will also help to determine where the flights go.

Some charter flights are already running from Tunisia and Ghana.

India and South Africa are expected to be have repatriation flights this week.
The Foreign Office said it was "negotiating intensely" with national governments to have the flights authorised.

An undated handout photograph released by the University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust, and received in London on March 30, 2020, shows NHS consultant Amged El-Hawrani who died after contracting Covid-19. A top ear, nose and throat surgeon was on March 29, 2020, named as one of the victims of the novel coronavirus. Amged El-Hawrani, 55, died in hospital in Leicester in central England. His family said he was a "loving and much-loved husband, son, father, brother and friend".
 - RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust / HANDOUT " - NO MARKETING - NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS
 / AFP / University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust / - / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust / HANDOUT " - NO MARKETING - NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

The death toll in the UK rose to 1,451 on Monday.

Three doctors - including two of Sudanese background - in the UK made the “ultimate sacrifice” after they died in the frontlines of the coronavirus battle fight.

Consultant Amged El Hawrani, Dr Adil El Tayar, and Dr Habib Zaidi, a GP, all lost their lives last week.

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