A BURY MP is seeking to reassure residents who have loved ones stranded abroad, following a Government announcement of a £75 million package to bring them home.

The funding will see the Government work to charter flights to return people stuck overseas back to the UK.

These flights will cover routes not currently serviced by commercial airlines.

Prestwich and Whitefield Guide:

Christian Wakeford, Bury South MP, welcomed the Government measures saying: “I have been contacted by a number of families of people stranded abroad who are understandably worried about their loved ones.

“This package will come as a relief, so they can return home, and if anyone here in Radcliffe, Whitefield or Prestwich has any worries or concerns don’t hesitate to contact me.”

Among those currently stranded overseas is 22-year-old Sumeya Isaac from Walmersley in Bury.

Prestwich and Whitefield Guide:

Miss Isaac is stuck in Fiji where she has been volunteering and teaching English after backpacking around South East Asia and Australia since January.

As coronavirus hit there were fears that it would spread rapidly across the South Pacific archipelago, forcing non-residents to return to the mainland.

Flights to Fiji have also been grounded and, despite making attempts to secure return to the UK via Australia and New Zealand, Miss Isaac has been left unable to get home.

She is now hoping that the UK Government will quickly intervene to send chartered flights to repatriate her and other Britons stranded in Fiji.

Miss Isaac said: “It has been such a frustrating experience because we just want to get home.”

Prestwich and Whitefield Guide:

The Government has announced that the special charter flights will be prioritised according to the number of stranded British travellers and their vulnerability ­— taking into account local health care provision.

Access for flights to land, and move around within countries, will also be a "decisive factor" in some places, the Government adds.

Charter flights are already up and running back to the UK from Ghana and Tunisia, with more countries, where large numbers of Britons are trapped and commercial flights are suspended, planned to be added within the week ­— including India and South Africa.

Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, said: “This is a worrying time for many British citizens travelling abroad.

"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 not possible, we will build on the earlier charter flights we organised back from China, Japan, Cuba, Ghana and Peru.

The arrangements agreed will provide a clearer basis to organise special charter flights where Britons find themselves stranded. Our priority will always be the most vulnerable.”