Gerald Jones, MP for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney, is calling on the UK Government to take urgent action to ensure two Merthyr Tydfil residents, stranded abroad in Tenerife since March due to the coronavirus crisis, can return home immediately.
Mr Lyn and Lesley Pennell, a retired couple from Treharris, Merthyr Tydfil, were due to return home to Wales from a holiday in Tenerife on 23rd March, but their flight was cancelled due to the coronavirus lockdown measures in both Spain and the UK.
Since then, the couple have been trying to book alternative flights home, but they have now seen seven separate flights cancelled.
Gerald Jones, the couple’s local MP, has written to the Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab and stayed in constant contact with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to urge them to bring Mr and Mrs Pennell home as a priority, due to the health condition of Mr Pennell, who suffers from leukaemia and is in need of medical attention for his condition after more than six weeks stranded abroad.
Gerald Jones, Labour MP for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney said:
“As the coronavirus lockdown continues, the safety and wellbeing of citizens – especially the most vulnerable among us – must be the Government’s top priority, and I am urging the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to now take the necessary action to bring Mr and Mrs Pennell home immediately.
“The coronavirus pandemic has seen thousands of people from Wales and across the UK stranded abroad and unable to return home, with many having run out of money or essential medication and unable to afford the over-inflated fares set by airline providers.
“This is unacceptable, and while the efforts the Government has made to support my constituents and others are welcome, it must now step up and do more to ensure all those still stranded abroad can return home safely as soon as possible.”
Speaking from Tenerife, Mrs Pennell said:
“We are very worried and need to get my husband home, as soon as possible. He needs treatment for his leukaemia in the UK and we are not well enough to divert to other airports in Europe as part of our journey home.
“When the UK Government announced £75 million to get UK citizens home we were relieved, but we have now been told it is not for citizens stranded in Spain.”