The government has reached a landmark agreement with airlines to fly back more stranded British travellers from abroad, ensuring airlines can continue to operate and bring people back home safely. 

  • We know that British tourists are finding it difficult to return to the UK because of the unprecedented international travel restrictions that are being introduced – often with little or no notice.
  • That is why we have agreed a partnership worth up to £75 million with airlines to ensure they keep as many commercial routes open as they can, whilst also chartering flights for countries with no commercial routes, allowing stranded British travellers to return back to the UK safely.
  • This will help get the tens of thousands British nationals abroad back home – protecting them from Coronavirus and making sure the most vulnerable are not left stranded.

Today the government is launching a national voucher scheme for children eligible for free school meals, ensuring that no child goes hungry as a result of our measures to tackle the Coronavirus.

  • As part of our action to slow the spread of the Coronavirus and save lives, we have instructed all schools to close except for vulnerable children and those of vital workers – but we want to make sure that other children are not adversely affected because of this.
  • That is why the Government is supporting the 1.3 million children who would normally receive benefits-related free schools meals. Schools can continue to provide meals for collection or delivery, or if they are unable to do so they will be able to provide families with vouchers worth £15. They can be redeemed online via a code, or sent to families directly as a gift card and used at supermarkets across the country.
  • This will ensure that every child can continue to access healthy and nutritious food during this difficult time.