Billericay woman, 75, told by GP she cannot fly to Australia

Airport sign

Article by Toby Emes: A pensioner has been told by her GP not to travel to see her sister in Australia over fears of contracting Coronavirus.

The 73-year-old says she has become unwell with stress after her flight times were changed – meaning her one-hour stopover at Hong Kong would be increased to five.

The woman, from Billericay, who was frightened of passing on an illness to her 80-year-old sister, has now lost £3,486 as Cathway Pacific has stated that her flights are non-refundable. The flight leaves tonight.

“I don’t want to catch something that could kill me and then give it to my sister”, she said.

“My health is more important than the money at the moment. I was already part of the vulnerable category, according to the government. I tried to rearrange my trip for October but that was even more money as there were not many flights that the airline offered. I think Australia has some restrictions in place on flights from Hong Kong. I was pleading with them. I’ve made as many enquires about other flights as I could. Before I fell ill I was able to travel, I was just fearful of the Coronavirus. That’s why I tried to rearrange, but nobody was helpful.”

She continued, and stated she is at her wits’ end:

“I’ve gone to my travel insurance to try get some kind of refund. I’m so distraught with the whole situation. I’m really disappointed I can’t get out there. My family have tried to support me and give me advice. I just want to move on and return to my normal self.”

The government state that if you’re concerned about the impact of Coronavirus before going abroad to contact your airline or tour operator in control of your trip.

Some airlines, including including British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, have suspended flights to and from China, or have implemented revised schedules.

Article by Toby Emes, The Echo