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Raab announces new £75m plan to get Brits home

By Gareth Jones
30 March 2020

By Gareth Jones

Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, set out a new government plan to get UK nationals stranded abroad home, noting that there were still 'hundreds of thousands' of British nationals stuck overseas.

Raab stated he was working with foreign governments and airlines to tackle this unprecedented challenge, announcing that British Airways, Easyjet, Jet2 and other airlines have agreed to help. For places where commercial flights are not available, the Government is going to spend £75million providing charter flights. Raab stressed that in arranging those flights, those in vulnerable groups will be prioritised.

The Government Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, then outlined new information on how public behaviour has changed since the restrictions were brought in and new data on transport usage, confirmed cases, hospital admissions and deaths. This came as official figures had shown that 180 people who tested positive had died in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of UK deaths to 1408. Sir Patrick stated that he expects the data to get worse for the next couple of weeks, but then said he would expect a period of stabilisation and then decrease in the number of cases. He added that the UK was at parity with France – with cases rising by an increasing amount but also by 'a constant amount'. He made some cautiously optimistic observations, stating that government measures were having a big and dramatic effect, but it is premature to put a time limit on how long the current restrictions will last.