South Africans stuck at Heathrow amid flight cancellations

Posted on 27 March 2020

Approximately 100 South Africans are currently stranded in London at Heathrow Airport due to flight cancellations amid national lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic, reports news site, SA People.

According to the site, the stranded South Africans are largely seasonal workers abroad. Flying in from various parts of the world, they were all making their way back to South Africa via London.

The Heathrow hundred are desperately trying to arrange flights or make an arrangement after being told they will not be able to fly back home.

According to SA People, Thembi Tambo, the South African High Commissioner in London, has managed to secure three-month temporary visas for the South Africans stuck in London.

Darren Bergman, the Shadow Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, is currently assisting stranded citizens and has created a web page where South Africans can enter their ID and passport numbers, as well as information about where in the world they’re stuck. The collected data will be compiled for the government to help them assist the stranded citizens.

Also read: Interview with a South African stranded abroad during lockdown

As the UK is also officially in lockdown, those stuck at Heathrow are scrambling to make arrangements for accommodation in the meantime. Many are unable to find lodgings due to hotels closing dor lockdown and dwindling funds to secure accommodation.

The site reported that South Africans who can provide a UK address to stay at will be allowed through UK Immigration. Various people, such as UK-based SA expat, Hayley Reichert, has been assisting in helping find other households and families within the expat community willing to receive SA nationals.

Featured image: Unsplash

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