Coronavirus: Bristol musicians 'stranded' in India as others go home

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James Tomlinson and Lucy ReetoorazImage source, James Tomlinson
Image caption,
James and Lucy have been in India since 3 January

Two Bristol musicians trapped in India claim the British Embassy is not helping them, as other foreign nationals are flown home.

James Tomlinson and Lucy Reetooraz arrived in India on 3 January but booked flights home early due to the coronavirus outbreak.

These were cancelled earlier this month, but they say the German Embassy has sent flights for their citizens.

A Foreign Office spokesman said they were supporting British travellers.

The couple said not being able to get home was a "terrifying feeling".

Mr Tomlinson, 31, said: "Several phone calls to the embassy and the foreign office have all resulted in being told to stay put and obey lockdown rules.

"Unbelievably, as recently as 27 March, the embassy didn't know of any flights leaving India, even though we know the German embassy has sent multiple flights for their citizens and other European citizens.

"We were told to stay where we are as our embassy and Foreign Office had no information on this or any other such transport."

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The couple, who have been connecting with other Britons in a similar position, were stamped on 25 March as part of the Indian government's strategy to keep a record of people suspected to have coronavirus and when they have been put into quarantine.

They said they were told to not leave their hotel until 14 April unless the UK government arranged to pick them up and fly them home.

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman said it is working "around the clock" to support British travellers in this situation.

On an official government Twitter account, the acting UK High Commissioner in India, Jan Thompson, said the embassy has received "thousands of emails" from Britons in India and was "working its way through them as quickly as possible".

She added: "More information is coming soon."

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