Aussie couple trapped overseas as countries impose lockdowns
IN WHAT was meant to be a trekking experience of a lifetime, Ipswich resident Harry Bevis and his girlfriend Frances Wardlaw are now stuck in Nepal, with no telling when they will be able to fly home.
"We entered Nepal on the 9th March, just before the tourist visa ban, and left for a trek on the 16th for Annapurna Base Camp," Miss Wardlaw said.
"We returned early after news from our guide that the government would be imposing a lockdown on flights."
The Nepali Government imposed a country-wide lockdown suspending all international and domestic flights until 31 March.
"Our travel agent informed us they were still letting flights out the country with Qatar and Etihad still operating.
"We had a flight booked with Etihad to the UK, but they bought their two week transit ban forward, so we were not able to fly.
"We booked another flight with Qatar for $1500 each just to get out which was meant to leave this morning, but the government won't allow it to enter even though it's a full flight.
"Very mixed messages from the government and the UK embassy has closed but the Australian one has been open and trying to help Aussies with a skeleton crew."
Miss Frances said they were not sure when they would be able to come back home.
"Right now, we have no idea when flights will be open, some say 1st April, some say 15th April, streets are on lockdown and very eerie situation," she said.
Mr Bevis, who is from Camira, said that he had started a couple of Facebook groups to find out more information about what was going on.
"Basically, the embassy has said sign up, so we know who's here and then bunker down in a hotel until further notice," Mr Bevis said.
"We are lucky enough that we have saving to rely on, but some people aren't as lucky.
"I will be going to see the embassy today to double check a few things."
Mr Bevis is now appealing to the Government to bring Aussies back home.
"There's a lot of things I want to say to the Australian Government at the moment, but all I can really say is get us home.
"There are so many of us here that just want to get home and feel safe.
"Team up with the commonwealth and get us all out, what's the point of it if you can't team up in times like there.
"Put pressure on the government's that are stopping people from going home.
"There are people in much worse situations than us that need to get out."
Read more stories from Samtui Selave.