Sinn Féin MP for West Belfast Paul Maskey has written to both the Irish and British Governments calling for a financial package to be established to assist citizens returning home from abroad.
Speaking on the issue, Maskey said:
“Over the course of the last week, I have been dealing with countless cases of citizens and families struggling to get home from various parts of the world.
“These citizens have been working abroad, on holiday or have been visiting family and loved ones.
“Some have had their flights cancelled and forced to book alternative flights, others have booked early alternative flights as no travel zones increasingly come into effect across the globe.
“The airlines have exploited this situation and hiked the price of many of these flights, this is totally and utterly unacceptable.
“One case in which I have been dealing with, a person was being quoted over £3,500 to return from South America.
“This is a time of already heightened concern and anxiety for citizens as the threat posed by COVID19 continues to intensify.
“There should not be an additional financial and emotional strain placed upon citizens attempting to return to our island.
“I call upon both the Irish and British Governments to immediately establish a financial package to assist citizens returning home.”