Miriam revealed she’s also written to her MP – the ”best thing anyone who is stranded can do” said travel expert Simon Calder this week on BBC. However, this too appears to have been futile. “I’ve written to my local MP in London – Karen Buck [for Westminster North] – she replied several days ago saying she would like to help and asking for my details, I haven’t heard anything since,” said Miriam.
When Express.co.uk contacted Ms Buck, the MP said she was dealing with “a great many similar, urgent and pressing cases.”
Ms Buck explained: “I am making representations to the Foreign Office and appropriate consulates to get assistance. I would like to see a centralised response from the government as for the most part people are simply being told to monitor commercial travel information and look for flights that are increasingly hard or even impossible to find. I totally appreciate how stressful this is for Ms Fenner and the many others in her situation and can assure you I and my team are working flat out on all our cases, including hers.”
To make matters worse for those stranded, at a time when social distancing is most pressing, keeping two metres away from others has proved nigh on impossible for those desperately trying to get home.
“Everyone was crowding around the sales desk [at the airport] to make sure they didn’t miss the updates and to be right there if they started letting us buy tickets,” explained Miriam.
“We were helping each other with the different things we’d all tried – I helped an older group who hadn’t heard about registering their details with the Consular email address, we swapped phones so they could read the information on my screen and I typed the email address into their phone for them. Such little things that you wouldn’t normally think of but very easy to spread germs as everyone was banding together this way. I also saw others sharing phone chargers.”
Miriam may have accommodation to turn to in Australia thanks to her family there, but she is worried about her job back in London as well as her young puppy.
“I was very sad when it first started to sink in that I couldn’t get home,” she explained.
“Mainly for my puppy Millie, I already felt very guilty leaving her just because she’s so young but I was pretty distraught at the idea that I wouldn’t be able to get home to her. It’s very stressful not having a timeframe – how long should I be making my money last? How long should I ask the sitter to care for Millie? I don’t even have enough clothes to stay here indefinitely.”