Joseph Madzimure Senior Reporter
Britain is not evacuating its citizens permanently resident in Zimbabwe, but is encouraging those who had visited as tourists and for other private business to book the remaining Ethiopian Airlines tickets.
A number of airlines have cancelled flights in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, leaving thousands of passengers stranded in foreign lands.
In an interview, an official with the British Embassy said the information on available flights was meant for those trapped in transit or who were visiting Zimbabwe as tourists and for other reasons.
“The British Embassy has urged UK nationals normally resident in the UK, but currently in Zimbabwe to book a flight home as soon as possible,” said the Embassy.
“In most circumstances, these are tourists and visitors.”
International travel is becoming more difficult with the closure of land borders with further restrictions, such as on freedom of movement, being introduced.
“We are not targeting British nationals who are permanent residents of Zimbabwe, but those in transit or just visiting,” said the Embassy.
“The next Ethiopian Airlines flight to London is on Saturday April 18. Seats are still available.
“At present, we are unable to disclose the number of UK nationals normally resident in the UK, but they are here and have booked flights from Zimbabwe back home.”
Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic across the globe, a number of countries closed their borders to avoid imported cases of the virus, although no country can forbid its citizens or legally resident foreigners from returning home, hence quarantine measures for many such groups.
The German and British governments have both over the last few weeks announced huge missions to return tens of thousands of their nationals from all over the world who were trapped as travel restrictions came into force, while they were on holiday and most flights they were booked on for return journeys were cancelled.