Stuck in India – Guernseyman hopes to be repatriated
A GUERNSEYMAN stuck in India due to the coronavirus lockdown is hoping the UK government’s efforts to repatriate Britons will allow him to get out of the country soon.
Jay Veron has been in the south-western state of Kerala since January, when he went there to undertake yoga training.
Mr Veron has lived in the UK for five years, leaving Guernsey at the age of 28, and he now teaches yoga and works in human resources in Brighton.
His plan was to spend two months in Kerala and then travel on to Thailand via Vietnam, but the coronavirus outbreak saw him forced to change his plans.
‘It’s a crazy situation out here,’ he said.
‘I’m hoping to get to Brighton to quarantine there.’
He had booked to fly back with Etihad Airways but that flight fell victim to the country bringing in cancellations – and his back-up plan to travel to another region was also scuppered when internal flights were also stopped.
After the lockdown was brought in, Mr Veron heard how other Europeans on his course were being repatriated, but there was no such move by the UK.
So he made contact with national media and appeared on the BBC and ITN news outlining his plight, which also affects more than 1,000 other Britons in the country.
After hearing of foreign nationals being attacked while shopping for food and essentials elsewhere in India, he has not risked leaving his apartment: ‘I’m in a situation that isn’t too bad, but there are a lot of people running out of food,’ he said.
‘I have some local people who can go out and go the supermarket who are getting me some basic supplies.’
One positive has been making contact with other Britons who are stuck, via a social media group that has allowed them to exchange information about efforts to get home.
There are several in Kerala itself, he said.
He said his time in lockdown is being spent communicating with family, friends, officials and the media and he has been in touch with the British, European and German embassies.