Tim Stew

UK High Commissioner: Tim Stew

The British Government has chartered a number of flights to repatriate its citizens and residents who have been stuck in Caribbean countries as a result of Covid-19 lockdowns.

Over 900 British citizens, including several in T&T, will be able to return home, the British High Commission has noted.

“Three flights from Barbados will leave for London Heathrow from Grantley Adams International Airport on 3, 4 and 5 June,” the High Commission said in a statement yesterday.

“Sweeper flights will take British travellers to Barbados for the transatlantic flight, from: Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, the British Virgin Islands and Montserrat.

“These sweeper flights will depart Trinidad and Tobago on 3 and 4 June 2020. It is expected that one flight will depart from Piarco International Airport and another from ANR Robinson International Airport.”

This follows UK government flights announced from the Bahamas, Jamaica, Cuba, and Guyana.

British High Commissioner Tim Stew said in a statement yesterday that so far 1,000 British travellers have returned home from Trinidad and Tobago.

“This has been a great effort, made possible with the co-operation of the Trinidad and Tobago authorities. For those British travellers remaining in Trinidad and Tobago, we will continue to provide consular assistance,” he said.

Minister for the Caribbean and the Overseas Territories, Baroness Sugg said: “We recognise that many British travellers in the Caribbean are still trying to get home. That’s why we are organising our most complex series of charter flights yet to bring up to 900 people back.

“Our teams will keep doing everything they can to get as many as possible home to the UK and will be providing those not returning with the support they need.”

Priority will be given to British travellers who are vulnerable, the High Commission said.

This includes those over 70 and others who have medical requirements, those travelling with young children, and those located in more remote or at-risk areas.

These flights are also seeking to help non-British nationals with indefinite leave to remain where possible – so long as they have lived in the UK in the last year. The most vulnerable of these will be prioritised.

The High Commission said British travellers in Trinidad and Tobago who have registered their interest in returning to the UK on a chartered flight will be contacted by May 26, explaining how to book these flights.

Anyone who has not yet registered their interest should contact the High Commission, the statement said.