Stories Of Stranded Brits In UK News

Phnom Penh: Stories of tourists stranded in Cambodia after travel restrcitions came into place are all over the British news. Here a a few cases. Please click the links for the full story.

Two Bristol families are distraught after learning their teenage sons are trapped in Cambodia with no way of returning back to the UK.

18 -year-old gap-year students Benjamin Parker and William Holloway set off traveling South East Asia last month, but are now stuck in Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia amid the COVID-19 crisis.

With allegedly no help from the British Consulate in Cambodia or the London Foreign Office, the students are now stranded and afraid.

Julie Parker, mother of Benjamin, said her son worked hard for six months to save for the planned trip but with the rising number of coronavirus cases around the world, she was adamant the both returned home…….


Jessica Fox, 22, has been travelling around Europe and Asia for approximately a year with her boyfriend, often doing volunteer work at various animal sanctuaries, and the couple weren’t intending on returning to the UK until mid-May before the coronavirus pandemic struck.

It was upon landing in Cambodia from Thailand just over a week ago that Jessica began to realise the end of the road may have arrived.

Jessica explained to The Bucks Herald: “We started to worry about it when we got to Cambodia. Obviously we were aware of it affecting the world but until then it hadn’t affected our travel plans, but as soon as we arrived in Cambodia it started to get a little worrying what with countries putting up restrictions, closing their borders, etc.” BUCKS HERALD

A nurse from the Conquest Hospital who was stranded in Cambodia due to the coronavirus pandemic has returned home today (Thursday, March 26).

Cheryl Baxter, ward matron on Baird Ward, had been travelling with her husband Ivon before the coronavirus pandemic hit the UK.

They flew out on March 2 and were due to fly back home on Sunday (March 22) from Cambodia to Bangkok then onward to Heathrow.

But when they arrived at the airport in Cambodia, they were told they were not allowed to fly, as they would require a fit to fly medical certificate.

The couple then got a certificate, costing them $80, but their second booked flight was cancelled, leaving them stranded.

Cheryl then posted an emotional video on her Facebook page highlighting their situation.

She said: “We were told on the first cancellation on Sunday that we did not have the medical certificates required to enter Bangkok, explaining that we did not have the Covid-19 virus.”

Cheryl said in her video that she had run out of her medication and that money was ‘dwindling fast’.

They also feared Bangkok airport would close, leaving them unable to get home.

A fundraising campaign was then quickly set up by Cheryl’s colleague, Cherie Pierce, to help get her home.

The target of £1,000 was quickly raised through donations to be used for flights and accommodation.

On the Gofundme page, Cherie said: “Cheryl and Ivon have now returned home safely.

“We cannot thank everybody enough with the support shown through a very tough 48 hours for Cheryl and Ivon, who had to face the fear and distress which was caused.

They also feared Bangkok airport would close, leaving them unable to get home.

A fundraising campaign was then quickly set up by Cheryl’s colleague, Cherie Pierce, to help get her home.

The target of £1,000 was quickly raised through donations to be used for flights and accommodation.

On the Gofundme page, Cherie said: “Cheryl and Ivon have now returned home safely.

“We cannot thank everybody enough with the support shown through a very tough 48 hours for Cheryl and Ivon, who had to face the fear and distress which was caused. BEXHILL OBSERVER

A father is issuing a call for help after his son and his girlfriend became trapped in Cambodia due to a Coronavirus lockdown.

Tony Duxbury, from Oswaldtwistle says son Joel, 26, and girlfriend Lilly Whelan, 24 from Accrington, are currently at Phnom Penh International Airport with no available flights out of the country.

The couple had gone to the British embassy but were turned away by security with only a leaflet.

Mr Duxbury said: “The situation is changing very rapidly at this moment in time.

“They’re getting no help from the British Consulate because they’ve closed their doors and told them they’re on their own.”

Joel and Lily, who is a nurse at Blackburn hospital, had originally planned to tour south-east Asia before meeting up with friends in Vietnam.

However, the virus outbreak ruined these plans as Cambodia went into lockdown in an effort to contain the virus which, as of Tuesday at least 87 people in the country are believed to have contracted.

In their desperation Mr Duxbury says that Joel and Lilly are planning to turn to another trapped traveller who says he can arrange flights out of the country, but it is not clear whether these are connected to Malaysia airlines or another private source.

If the flights are reliable then the couple may be back in the UK by the early hours of tomorrow morning, but Mr Duxbury is sceptical.

He said: “They were approached by an individual who says he can get flights out of the country, but we’re not sure what line this is connected to, so you can see why I’m a bit dubious about this.” LANCASHIRE TELEGRAPH

Eight British tourists — including an NHS nurse — are pleading with the government for help after becoming stranded in Cambodia as more countries go into lockdown over coronavirus.

Jack Lane-Brownsword, 23, from Wimbledon, and friends Sam Nicholson and Mark Richards, were due to return home from two months travelling this week.

But they are now stuck in Phnom Penh after their flights were suddenly cancelled alongside NHS nurse Katie Bond — who is “desperate to return and aid the fight to contain the virus” — as well as three Royal Navy veterans.

Mr Lane-Brownsword, a sports science graduate from Surrey University, said they have spent “thousands” trying to re-book flights.

A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: “The FCO is working around the clock to support British travellers.

“The Government is seeking to keep key transit routes open as long as possible and is in touch with international partners and the airline industry to make this happen.

“Consular staff are supporting those with urgent need while providing travel advice and support to those still abroad.” EVENING STANDARD

Four backpackers have been left “stranded” more than 6,000 miles from their families with no money due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Rhys Kinsella, Gemma Tregunna, Liam Mason and Emily King are currently “trapped” in Cambodia and are unable to get a return flight home.

Mr Kinsella said they have experienced hatred from locals, with some shouting: “Go home, we don’t want you here”. Others have tried to “kick [them] out” of shops.

In desperation, the Bournemouth University graduates have tried everything to get home. They have spent more than £10,000 of their savings on flights.

However, due to last-minute cancellations and airlines requiring confirmation of a negative COVID-19 test, this money has gone to waste.

Mr Kinsella, from Guildford, said: “We started our travels before this was a thing. We have been trying to get home for two or three weeks now.

“We had flights booked from Siem Reap airport, but nine hours before we were due to fly, Thai Airways told us we needed to get a negative coronavirus test.

“The only place that you can get a test is at a medical centre six hours away in Phnom Penh. It takes 72 hours to receive the test and it only lasts for 72 hours from when you last had it done. It’s impossible.”

He added: “We are sympathetic that the situation is unprecedented; no one could have planned for this. But we have been stranded out here by our airlines, by our insurance, and we don’t know what to do.”

Travelling the world has always been a dream of Mr Kinsella’s – even more so after he was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare bone cancer, at the age of 15.

He underwent 14 months of invasive treatment, including chemotherapy, multiple blood transfusions, and a femur bone replacement with a titanium prosthesis.

His sister, Georgia Kinsella, said the only thing that kept him “clinging on to life” was his dream of travelling. This dream was shattered within days of arriving in Cambodia.

The COVID-19 virus is a huge concern for Mr Kinsella, as his immune system and lungs are weak due to his previous chemotherapy treatment.

he group has tried everything to get home, but Mr Kinsella said they are “getting nowhere”. He claims the British Embassy in the capital is not helping them.

He and Mr Mason will visit the embassy twice a day in the hope that they will receive advice, or new information. However, they are merely handed a letter, which advises them to fly home as soon as possible.

It reads: “The Foreign Secretary announced on March 23 that if you live in the UK and are currently travelling abroad, you are strongly advised to return now, where and while there are still commercial routes available.”

He claims the embassy currently has 20 armed security guards blocking the entrance and they are not allowed to speak to anyone.

The current prices for flights back to the UK range from £8,000 to £32,000 – money which they simply do not have.

The 25-year-old said: “This is a trip that we have dreamt about and saved up for years. We have spent all our budget on flights to get home and we haven’t got anywhere, it is very disheartening.

“We are completely understanding that in every country around the world, everyone is struggling, but it would be nice if they prioritised second or third world countries rather than leaving us stranded.” GET SURREY

A UK citizen travelling in Cambodia has intervened to organise a private charter flight to take 103 stranded UK tourists home, after claims that the UK Embassy and UK government “could not have done less to help”.

Jerry Lewis, a teacher who was travelling on a sabbatical in Cambodia with his family, stepped in to help over 100 UK citizens who were facing a long and uncertain wait in Cambodia as their scheduled flights to the UK were cancelled – and the few seats on any remaining flights were costing several thousand dollars.

Members of the Facebook Group “Stuck in Cambodia UK” had approached the UK Embassy for help over the past few days but claimed they were given little help apart from standard emails and vague promises of assistance.

On the 25th of March a group of tourists went the UK embassy in person, but claim they were turned away by guards.

As one member of the group said ““Some of us went to the UK Embassy today to see if we could get some help or advice. We were met by guards who refused to let us in, no one would come out to speak to us, we were given a piece of paper with details of flights to get home- most of which no longer exist or are available for thousands of pounds. We have organised our own charter flight back to the UK. Tina Redshaw Ambassador could not have done less to help us.” KT

4 thoughts on “Stories Of Stranded Brits In UK News

  • March 28, 2020 at 9:52 am

    Sorry but everyone could see it coming no?
    There were and still are flights out and when these so called “stranded teens” came to Cambodia they could have the foresight that this would happen, also the British authorities have been saying for weeks that everyone should return back home that has no business or is not living in Asia.

    Sorry but no compassion in these cases.

  • March 29, 2020 at 8:03 am

    Aside from the dodgy level of healthcare in Cambodia, they’d probably be safer and better off remaining in situ than boarding a plane home.

  • March 29, 2020 at 12:27 pm

    Some very sad stories here. It’s not always clear what the situation may be day by day.
    I have family in Malaysia & Cambodia. Bought tickets in November, to travel in Feb. There were worries then, but not this serious. When things were deteriorating, mid March, I got a free flight change to leave Malaysia 24th, with a boarding pass from PP to transit at KL – which was repeatedly allowed!!!
    Then refused to board last minute, no calls answered Airlines and embassies.
    I am lucky as I’m safe with the family, and able to practice recommended programmes. Better to stay, unless I get sick… It is very bad with so little help from the government. My main flights are “restored” (I cannot, like most afford the 10/15 times $$$$ fares IF they work) but no idea when.
    Just hoping we can all stay safe, at least until some transit sites (or sanity) is restored. Good luck guys. XXX

  • March 31, 2020 at 3:13 am

    I have no sympathy. I flew in on March 12 and it was clear by the 19th that you had to get out or see it out in Cambodia. Loads of notices on Facebook to which most are addicted. I changed flights for a nominal cost and flew out a week early on 20th. British taxpayers now footing the bill.


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