Hartlepool couple stranded in Poland as Ryanair cancels flights due to coronavirus outbreak
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Steve Hadfield, 49, and his partner Carolyn Cook, 47, flew to Krakow for a break on Tuesday, March 10 from Leeds Bradford Airport.
They were scheduled to return on Sunday, March 15, with their travel insurance due to expire at midnight on the same day.
The Seaton Carew couple were contacted by the airline on Friday, March 13, to say their return flight had been cancelled and that they could have a refund and fly back at a later date.
According to Ryanair’s customer travel advice online, its flights to and from Poland were stopped on Saturday, March 14 and will remain suspended until Tuesday, March 31 due to the spread of the virus.
Steve and Carolyn have found Krakow to be a beautiful city – but coronavirus has closed all the bars and restaurants.
Poland has “locked down” the entire country and imposed a 14-day quarantine on its citizens in a bid to combat Covid-19.
Steve, a green-keeper, is on medication for his blood pressure. His tablets will run out on Tuesday, March 17.
He told the Mail that they are “stuck in limbo” while they wait for further information on what to do next.
He said: “We’ve got accommodation. The lady whose property we were staying in has moved us to a bigger apartment. She’s been baking bread for us too.
“My step-daughter’s been in touch with the British Embassy. But we were told we’ll just have to wait.
“We’ve spoken to people who are on flights tonight [Sunday]. When we were told our flight was cancelled we started looking for another one straight away.
“We’ve been talking to other people to see what they’ve heard. There are flights back to Leeds-Bradford, changing at Amsterdam. Some of them have two stops, but they’re over £1,000 each.
“At least it’s sunny now. It was snowing earlier in the week. We’ve been watching Polish television too. If you didn’t laugh you’d cry.”
Other airlines, including Jet2 and Easyjet, have been operating flights from Krakow to the UK, although they are not currently flying outbound.