Brit government warns would-be expats to postpone their departures

Published:  4 May at 6 PM
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If you’re a British would-be expat planning to take a reconnaissance trip to your potential overseas expat haven, the government would rather you stayed at home.

The warning comes from Transport Minister Grant Shapps, who’s begging would-be expatriates not to book a flight just yet in case the destination is still on the ‘high risk’ list for the virus. Shapps added it’s nothing to do with social distancing, but those in charge have no real idea when it will be safe to cancel the present lockdown. A review of its status is due at the end of this week, but it’s very unlikely any changes will be made at this juncture.

Shapps reminded potential travellers it’s not just up to the UK’s rulings as travelling to an overseas destination for whatever reason is dependent on rules still in place in individual countries. At present, entry to many states is banned both for tourists and even residents wishing to return home. Essential travel is permitted as a reason for leaving the UK, but the tag doesn’t include those retiring overseas or relocating to take on a new job.

In general, those countries least likely to allow expat incomers are those with the highest numbers or infection and deaths. Globally, some 2.22 million cases have been reported along with 152,000 deaths, and the spread of the pandemic to as yet relatively virus-free countries in Africa and South America is continuing. After a frustrating delay, the UK’s repatriation fights are now bringing thousands of stranded British citizens back home, with chartered flights from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan the latest to operate. Even so, thousands of Brits are still marooned under lockdowns whilst they await their turn.
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