DOMINIC Raab has been warned of the dire conditions hundreds of Scots stranded abroad are facing due to the virus pandemic.

Alyn Smith, SNP MP has written a letter to the Foreign Secretary calling for greater help for thousands of people who are unable to get home.

Thousands of people are thought to be stranded abroad, having gone to visit family or gone on holiday before airlines cancelled flights and many countries closed their airspace completely.

Dozens of Scottish MPs say they have been bombarded with emails and phone calls from constituents who say they have been abandoned alone in a foreign country, with many running out of money and receiving no help from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

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In a letter to the Foreign Secretary, Mr Smith, the SNP’s foreign affairs spokesman, said: “Reports are coming in from across the SNP MP group, the situation is already grave but is deteriorating fast.

“Where commercial travel is of course the first way to get people home, often flights are being cancelled at short notice on top of the fact that many airlines are charging exorbitant prices which insurance companies are not covering.

“Some countries as you know have closed their airspace entirely.

“This is not simply a matter of inconvenience for people.

“I have constituents who have done everything right but are running out of medicine, or want to get home to look after loved ones, or indeed take part in our efforts to fight Covid-19.

“We are seeing calls from the airline industry for emergency support, and a number of planes and cabin crew being furloughed.

“I believe there is ample capacity and willingness to see the commercial sector provide a number of charters to alleviate pressure on the FCO network and bring our people home.”

Among the Scots stuck abroad include people in New Zealand, Australia, Lebanon, Senegal, Nepal and Lebanon.

In one case, a couple in Argentina were touring the country in a camper van when they thought they had secured a flight to get back home. The flight was cancelled, and they were left without accommodation having returned the van.

Another example from an MP include a husband and wife in Peru who are trying to get home as the husband is diabetic and desperately needs medication.

Mr Smith said many young Scots in Australia and New Zealand are also stranded, and rapidly running out of money.

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Yesterday the FCO announced it was planning to charter more commercial flights specifically to help people get back home from Peru, and confirmed that the first flights would start leaving Lima on Sunday.

They will also charter domestic flights from Cusco and Arequipa to Lima so that UK nationals can transfer to the London-bound flights.

An FCO spokesman said: “We recognize British tourists abroad are finding it difficult to return to the UK because of the unprecedented international travel and domestic restrictions that are being introduced around the world – often with very little or no notice.

“The FCO is working around the clock to support British travellers in this situation to allow them to come back to the UK. The Government is seeking to keep key transit routes open as long as possible and is in touch with international partners and the airline industry to make this happen. Consular staff are supporting those with urgent need while providing travel advice and support to those still abroad.”