The UK government has announced it has secured two charter flights in May to repatriate more than 300 British travellers stranded in Argentina due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In a press release from the UK Embassy in Argentina, officials said that around 320 British travellers currently stranded in Argentina would be able to return home on two flights, scheduled for May 7 and 12, departing Buenos Aires Ezeiza International Airport.
Seats on the flights will be exclusively for UK travellers who normally reside in the United Kingdom and their direct dependants. Priority will be given to those deemed vulnerable or at risk, such as the elderly, those with underlying health conditions and those with children. Those located in remote areas of Argentina will also be prioritised, officials said, because travel distances in Argentina can be extremely long and movement in the country is currently very restricted.
Argentina has been in lockdown since March 20, with quarantine restrictions now in place until at least May 10. Commercial flights have been suspended until at least September 1, the government confirmed via decree this week.
Britain's Ambassador to Argentina Mark Kent thanked the Argentine government for its assistance. The UK government said it had worked closely with the Alberto Fernández administration and carriers Air Europa and British Airways to arrange the flights.
“I appreciate these last months were very stressful for all of our fellow citizens stranded in Argentina. I am pleased that these special charter flights will enable many British nationals still in Argentina to return to the UK," he said.
“I am extremely grateful for the support we are receiving from the Government of Argentina on this. Getting people home as quickly as possible remains our absolute priority.”
To date, the United Kingdom has now flown back more than 2,500 travellers from South America, it said in a statement, citing previous charter flights from Colombia, Honduras and Peru.
“These are the latest flights from South America, with around 400 more British travellers being able to get back to the UK to see friends and family," said Britain's Minister for the Americas Wendy Moton. "Our staff will continue to support those Britons who remain in Argentina throughout this crisis.”
NOTE FROM THE BRITISH EMBASSY IN ARGENTINA: HOW TO BOOK FLIGHTS
The charter flights are for UK travellers who normally reside in the UK and their direct dependants. Priority will be given for those deemed vulnerable or are located in remote areas of Argentina. This is because travel distances in Argentina can be extremely long and movement in Argentina is currently very restricted.
The British Embassy in Argentina will contact those who have confirmed seats on the flight with further details regarding transport. Those who are eligible to fly will be sent information on getting to airports and flight itineraries directly when their seat is confirmed. Details regarding luggage allowance, flight costs and carriers will be available on the booking portal.