Sheffield man stranded in Africa because of coronavirus pandemic calls on Government for help

A Sheffield man says he fears for his safety after being trapped in West Africa because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Monday, 23rd March 2020, 5:25 pm
Updated Tuesday, 24th March 2020, 4:25 pm

Adam Bradford, 27, is currently one of the estimated 1 million British travellers stranded overseas after his flight home from Benin was cancelled.

However, with his visa expiring tonight, he now fears he may be arrested and is calling on the UK Government to do more to help him get home.

He said: “We’re stuck, with little information or communication about what is happening. Our routes to get home are very slim and the situation is becoming ever more frightening.

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“Our country is refusing to acknowledge the very stark reality of practically homeless and destitute people crippled by the situation out of their home country and it’s frankly quite shocking.

“The Government is not acting quickly enough and is seriously putting lives at risk. My mental health is at breaking point and within hours, my situation could worsen dramatically.”

Adam - who is autistic - was visiting West Africa as part of his role as an ambassador for young people, after being given a Queen’s award for his work with people who share his condition.

He says he is able to get a flight to a European hub airport - at a cost of £2,000 or more - but he would still find it difficult to get home as many borders have been sealed.

Adam Bradford (right) and his father David.

Adam’s father, David Bradford, 63, said: “I really do not know what to say. As a family we do not know what to do, there is no instruction manual for this.

“Will Boris Johnson provide a rescue package for people whose careers, finances and situations been devastated by this policy which is trapping a million citizens off the UK’s shores?”

The UK Government has said it is doing all it can to rescue British citizens who find themselves trapped overseas.

Rodney Levine-Boateng, however, who is representing Adam, said: “This is a dire situation and there is a real lack of support from the authorities.

“In this vulnerable position, any British citizen should be expected to receive proper levels of support and assistance to ensure they are not wrongly impacted by this terrible situation.”