Brits in China rage at UK Foreign Office message about leaving

Published:  5 Feb at 6 PM
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Expat fury in China is growing fast as the UK government tells them they’re on their own as regards leaving.

Britain’s poor reputation for helping its citizens in emergencies is now at its lowest level ever as the Foreign Office tells UK expats still in the Chinese city of Wuhan they’ll have to make their own arrangements should they wish to leave. At the same time, the Foreign Secretary is urging the estimated 30,000 Britons still in the stricken country to get up and go, and a ban on travellers to China is now being instigated.

Given the British authorities’ seemingly total confusion on the matter, a Downing Street suggestion that concerned Brits should contact the airline they used when they arrived for advice is increasing expats’ fury still further. Another issue causing rage amongst British expats married to Chinese wives is Britain’s banning of foreign nationals on the recent evacuation flights, although children of the family were allowed. Many are staying put rather than deserting their wives and families.

British expats affected include professionals employed in the medical and academia sectors as well as international company executives, entrepreneurs with their own companies and teachers at China’s many prestigious international schools. Those planning to leave will be forced to break their contracts, abandon their businesses, homes and pets and pull their children from school or university. As the number of those infected in China increases exponentially day by day, more flights are cancelled and more major Chinese cities are being closed off.

Worldwide coronavirus infections are nearing 30,000, deaths are totalling 490 to date and 28 countries now have confirmed cases of infection. Some 30 airlines have cancelled flights to and from China, and reports begin to suggest the virus originated in bats. According to an online source, Aeroflot is still offering flights from Beijing and several other major Chinese cities to London via Moscow, with British borders still open to travellers from the country, but getting from Wuhan to the capital may be impossible.
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