A number of Caerphilly County Borough residents have been left stranded abroad as the world comes to grips with the coronavirus outbreak.
Megan Soulsby, 25, from Bedwas, is currently stranded on the island of Utila, which is in the Central American nation of Honduras.
Ms Soulsby, who is studying a Masters in Animal Behaviour at St Andrew’s University in Scotland, left the UK on March 9 and has been on the island since March 11, alongside six other students and two staff members as part of a scientific diving course.
Ms Soulsby and the group were meant to leave the island on Tuesday, March 24 and arrive back in the UK on March 26.
Speaking to Caerphilly Observer on March 24, she said: “At the moment, everyone in the group is holding up okay, although we all understand the sense of urgency, especially with the news that the UK has closed its borders.
“We have been attempting to leave Honduras since the lockdown on March 16 and we have seen the escalation of precautions both here and in the UK, as the businesses have been closed since March 18.
“There has been a 24-hour curfew in place for four days now.
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“We are currently staying in a hotel, who have been happy enough for us to stay here as long as we need, so we know that we will be safe while we wait for news about returning home.”
Ms Soulsby added: “The university have been great throughout this situation, trying to find flights and working hard behind the scenes. Our major issues seem to be diplomatic unfortunately.”
The student contacted Caerphilly Member of Parliament Wayne David for help.
Mr David has also been in contact with residents who have been left stranded in Cyprus, Nepal, New Zealand, Poland, and the Maldives.
He has called on the Foreign Office to provide consular support to British nationals stranded overseas.
He said: “There’s a distinct possibility we could have a worldwide flight shutdown.”
The Caerphilly MP also urged family members of residents stranded abroad to maintain contact with their loved ones, and said: “The worst thing for them would be to feel cut off from the outside world.”
A Foreign Office spokesperson said: “We are in close contact with travel providers and our international partners to provide support to those British people affected by ongoing measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19.”
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