Teenager suffers travel nightmare after Coronavirus outbreak

Ollie Counter during travel in Malaysia – Credit Instagram (@OllieCounter_)

A Midlands’ traveller has spoken of his ‘nightmare’ in trying to return to the UK amid Coronavirus restrictions.

Ollie Counter, from Gloucestershire, had been travelling in South East Asia and Australia since January, and had been scheduled to travel until the end of April.

However, the outbreak of Covid-19 back in Europe, forced the 19-year old to cut his journey short.

Counter, who was in in Malaysia at the time Of the outbreak , expressed the “difficulty” of trying top get back home under Home Office guidance.

“It was a complete nightmare to be honest. We had prepared ourselves to have to return back home instead of carrying on to the Philippines,” said Counter.

“However, the situation back at home in England had obviously got worse very quickly.”

On the 23rd March, the Foreign Secretary (Dominic Raab) advised all British nationals to travel back to the UK.

In a statement, Raab said: “We are strongly urging UK travellers overseas to return home now where and while there are still commercial routes to do so. Around the world, more airlines are suspending flights and more airports are closing, some without any notice.”

Counter explained how the travel back home was virtually impossible.

“All the planes had been cancelled so we were worried we would be stranded in Malaysia with no way of getting back,” he said.

“Luckily, our plane was about one of three planes that were still going back to the UK so we made it back safely.”

Although Counter said that he hadn’t seen the full extent of the situation while in Asia, he said that he was shocked to see what was going on back at home.

He said: “ It was shocking to see on social media the situation in supermarkets and out back home.

“I honestly though we would have seen more chaos out in Asia, but I never expected to be coming back to Britain in lockdown.”

If you are experiencing symptoms of Coronavirus you are advised to protect others and not to go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. You must stay at home. You should use the 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do.


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