UK tells Brits to come home as airspace contracts

The United Kingdom is urging all its citizens who are currently abroad to immediately make their way home, as more and more countries close their airspace to fend off the widening coronavirus pandemic.

“We are strongly urging UK travelers overseas to return home now where there are still commercial routes to do so,” UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab says in a statement.

“Around the world, more airlines are suspending flights and more airports are closing, some without any notice. Where commercial routes don’t exist, our staff are working round the clock to give advice and support to UK nationals. If you are on holiday abroad the time to come home is now while you still can.”

Israel has also urged its own citizens to come home, while telling foreigners who cannot shelter in place to leave. Since March 8, over 98,000 foreign nationals have left Israel, according to data published by the Interior Ministry on Monday. The ministry does not say how many are British nationals.

London’s initial response to the crisis caused by the coronavirus was somewhat lackluster, with  few restrictions on public life.

Last night, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced draconian steps to slow the spread of the disease, ordering citizens to stay home unless they are engaged in essential activities, such as buying food and medicine.

— Raphael Ahren

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