January 20, 2021

Canadians fight back from UK after unexpected COVID-19 flight canceled

Canadians stranded in the United Kingdom face uncertainty about how or when they can get home, and in some cases their stay while waiting for a travel ban.

Brooke Johnson, 42, is from the Niagara region of Ontario, but moved to London for work. His contract expired on December 18 and he was preparing to leave when all commercial and private passenger flights from Britain were stopped by Canada.

The initial 72-hour suspension on flights from the UK has now been extended to two weeks until January 6, as Canada seeks to prevent a new variant of the Canadian novel from spreading here.

There are concerns that the new variant is significantly more contagious than other strains, although it may not be as dangerous.

Johnson said he was stressed about “this open matter of not knowing when this will end or where I am going to stay”.

The problem is, Johnson said, her shelter will soon be over, and parts of London and parts of the southeast of the UK are under strict Tier 4 COVID-19 restrictions.

“It’s a little scary because hotels and airplanes are closed for bookings, so I stay somewhere until December 28th, but after that it’s a big question mark,” he said.

Reports of thousands stranded in the UK

Dozens of countries around the world have imposed travel restrictions on fighting in the country, with many reportedly stranded in the UK.

Global Affairs Canada reports that there are currently 11,038 Canadians registered in the country, but this is a voluntary registration and not everyone wants to leave.

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Johnson said he has a few days to find a place to stay.

“In normal times, I would go to a hotel or stay with friends, but who would take me in the middle of an epidemic when things were raging in London? I and others would be in danger,” he said.

“It’s just now, but it’s so hard and stressful.”

Canadian High Commissioner to the UK Janice Charte, staff at the Canada House in London and the Global Affairs Emergency Monitoring and Response Center in Ottawa are working collaboratively this holiday season.

“If travel plans for Canada have been affected by recent developments, our best advice is for Canadians in the UK to contact their airline and their travel insurance to discuss alternatives and / or compensation,” Charett told CBC News. “Passengers are advised that travel conditions may change quickly and without notice.”

Charett noted that the latest negative PCR test may be required before boarding alternate routes and that passengers should check with their airline when booking.

One. Now he and his 15-year-old son are unable to book a home. (Submitted by Saeed Durhan)

Saeed Durhan, 51, was lucky enough to extend his hotel stay, but it was expensive.

“We’re excited to find an airport home starting Sunday,” he said.

“We didn’t find anything.”

One.

He tried to book a flight to Canada via Washington D.C., but was told that United Airlines would only carry U.S. citizens.

Durhan said there was no help, guidance or guidance from the Canadian government or the embassy.

“I’m not looking for a free ride here. What the Canadian government wants to do is do what the U.S. government did,” he said.

“United Airlines only takes American citizens. Why can’t Canada do this with Air Canada? Air Canada planes are sitting at Heathrow Airport. Why can’t they do the right thing? Canadian residents can only board the plane and go back home?”

Durhan said he was able to book a flight to Canada, which departs on Monday, after the CBC news story was released on Saturday.

Global Affairs Canada says it has no plans to provide return or assistance departure flights.

In a statement to the CBC News, it said it was aware that Canadians abroad were seeking to return to Canada.

The federal government has advised against unnecessary travel outside Canada from March 13, 2020.

But Global Affairs says Canada continues to closely monitor the situation.

“The Canadian embassy basically told me I own it,” Durhan said. “The Canadian government is completely depriving its own citizens.”