Flights arranged for hundreds of Britons stranded in Central and South America

Luke Powell, PA

More than 400 British travellers stranded in six Central and South American countries will be able to return home on two charter flights this month.

The two transatlantic flights will leave from San Jose in Costa Rica and Quito in Ecuador for London Stansted on June 11, the UK Government has announced.

British travellers in Panama, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Chile will be able to board “sweeper flights” to take them to Costa Rica and Ecuador for the final transatlantic passage back to the UK, the Government said.

Priority will initially be given to travellers aged over 70, those with medical requirements, people travelling with young children and others in remote or “at-risk” areas.

More than 2,100 British travellers have already been brought back from the region on chartered flights organised by the Government during the coronavirus pandemic.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) minister for the Americas, Wendy Morton, said: “This is a complex operation with British travellers wanting to return home from across Central and South America.

“Our teams across the region are doing everything they can to get as many people as possible home to their families and will continue to provide support to British nationals who remain.”

Those wishing to board the flights are advised to check the relevant FCO travel advice pages online and contact the British mission in the country they are in.

The FCO said those who are eligible to fly will be sent information on how to get to the airport, flight itineraries and costs when their seat is confirmed.

At the beginning of May, the Government said more than 30,000 British travellers had returned to the UK on 142 special charter flights from 27 countries since the outbreak of coronavirus.

Later in the month Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said “about 20,000” British nationals were still in need of repatriation.