The situation that Spain and the rest of the world is experiencing due to the coronavirus is unprecedented recent which is causing difficult situations for many people, as is the case of the Spaniards who are abroad and who, despite the government’s claims that “nobody is going to be left behind”, are having serious problems to return to the country and denouncing lack of support from the Government, embassies and consulates.
The situation is very complicated. The airlines do not stop canceling international flights due to the progressive restrictions of the countries’ borders, and the embassies and consulates, inexperienced in a state of alarm like the current one, do not make clear what the procedure is for continue on the part of Spanish citizens who try to return to their homes.
However, since the Ministry of Foreign Affairs they have reported today through the minister González Laya that every effort will be made to facilitate the return of Spaniards abroad, but they recommend that the procedures be started soon since air communications are increasingly scarce .
In addition , has sent a message of calm to all those people and has insisted on the idea that they avoid traveling unless they consider it “essential”. He also added that “thousands of people” are contacting them to analyze each case, although priority will be given to people in vulnerable situations.
On the other hand, the testimonies that some Spaniards tell from 20 minutes from different parts of the world are different and denounce a situation of helplessness by the delegated institutions and request effective measures from the Government .
Victor, who is together with eight friends on the island of Roatán, Honduras, tells us that they arrived on March 10 to spend a vacation and go on diving trips. The first week everything went well until on Sunday 17 the President of Honduras makes a statement in which announces the closure of all international flights in the country for at least one week.
After receiving this news, they contact the Spanish consulate, of whom Víctor affirms that “they are the only ones who are assisting and helping us.” There they give them some recommendations and refer them to the official numbers of the Government, “but we do nothing but call and nobody pays any attention to us ,” he declares.
Furthermore, he adds that the worst their situation is the uncertainty of not knowing what will happen, as happens with other testimonies, although they affirm that currently “they are fine”, they do not know how a quarantine in a poor country like Honduras will evolve and They have already seen police watching supermarkets and armed clerks at gas stations, something that makes them even more uneasy.
Finally, they say that they have spoken to the landlady of the house they are in now and that they can extend the rent until the 30th, but they do not know what will happen if that day arrives and they continue on that Honduran island, so ask the government for help to get out of there and to be able to return to their homes as soon as possible .
Another case is that of Alicia (26 years old), a nurse by profession, and David (40) who arrived in Peru on March 2 to spend a 20-day vacation, but now are “locked” in an apartment room without being able to leave and without knowing when they will be able to return home, in Granada and Córdoba, respectively.
On Saturday the 14th, Iberia canceled their return flight and they decided to look for another one. They found him in Avianca for the 17th, with a stopover in Colombia, which would allow them to leave the country and arrive in Spain. But being in Machu Picchu, Peru also decreed the closure of borders and the state of alarm . After several hours trying, they managed to return last Monday by train to Cuzco, where they were kicked out of the hotel where they were staying “because they were going to close it.”
They tried to find other accommodation, but “most were closed and those who were open said that they did not admit Europeans ”. The same happened to the Police. “He stopped us and told us that we could not be on the street, least of all being Europeans.” They now live in an apartment with a kitchen and do laundry in a laundry across the street. “We don’t know how long this is going to last” or if the money will come to them.
More than fear, what they feel is “the uncertainty of not knowing when they will return.” The Spanish consulate in Cuzco “is closed” and at the embassy, either they do not pick up the phone, or an answering machine jumps or they tell us that we must wait and comply with what the State has decreed. ” Alicia and David are “worried” and ask the Government of Spain “for a solution to return home” .
Sara and David, two doctors from a hospital in Gran Canaria, decided on Wednesday March 11, set out on his trip to Bali, Indonesia along with 4 other companions. The situation in Spain was complicated and that’s why when they reached their first stop, in Dubai, where they spent two days, they decided to go to the Spanish embassy to ask what the situation was going to be and if it was safe to continue their trip to Indonesia. From the Spanish diplomatic institution the message they received was calm and they were told that, even if the state of alarm was declared, they would be repatriated and there would be no greater problem to return .
Encouraged by this Information continued with their vacations, until after the appearance of Pedro Sánchez the state of alarm in Spain was officially declared, and complications began .
They tried to contact the airline without success, since they did not answer the phone, and it was then that their local guide, through their contacts, informed them that their return flight for Sunday the 15th it had been canceled . They decided to go to the airport and there from Fly Emirates, their company, told them that they had to pay 600 euros if they wanted to fly on Saturday, although they had no guarantee that the actual flight would occur.
It was then that They went to the embassy, where they were told that “ could do nothing”, that “everything depended on the airlines” . Given this desperate situation, 4 of the 6 members of the group managed to get a flight to London with a stopover in Dubai for Wednesday the 18th, all except Sara and David, who were left without a place on the plane.
The Canarian couple was helpless and did not know what to do, they made a second call to the embassy where they were not given help, but they did ask for information about the flight that their friends had taken. Finally, they have managed to fly to Jakarta, where they are waiting to catch a flight to London with a stop in Dubai on Thursday 19, although have no guarantees of what will happen and how they will get to Spain. from London.