China still refusing permission to evacuate for British expats

Published:  30 Jan at 6 PM
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Expat Britons trapped in Wuhan are still not able to be evacuated.

Several hundred British expatriates in virus-hit Wuhan are still not able to be evacuated due to China’s refusal to grant permission for the flight. The stand-off has continued for several days, although expat citizens of other countries including the USA have been allowed to leave. According to the British Foreign Office, its representatives are doing all they can to ensure the flight leaves as soon as is possible.

Plans have already been made to quarantine those on the flight for 14 days after their arrival back in the home country and, in a move being considered as brazen given tomorrow’s Brexit celebrations, the UK is requesting EU assistance in getting the evacuation flight in the air. For those trapped in the city, China’s policy of not recognising dual citizenship is forcing dual nationality families to be separated as only those with British passports will be allowed to leave.

Other issues include difficulties in getting to the airport for those permitted to leave, as all transport in Wuhan is now under total lockdown. According to one Briton, his adult son lives on the far edge of the city and has no way to access the airport. According to his father, the Foreign Office is not helping. Another Briton with an Indonesian wife and two children has been told his wife must stay as she has no UK visa. A few Chinese carriers along with Virgin Atlantic are still operating in mainland China, although British Airways are now suspending all flights.
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