Senator Hassan Helping to Get Constituents Abroad Back Home Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
Granite Staters in Need of Assistance Can Call Senator Hassan’s Office at 603-622-2204
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan’s office is working to assist Granite Staters who have been stranded abroad and are seeking to return home as the COVID-19 pandemic restricts travel across the globe.
Any Granite Stater who is facing challenges returning back to New Hampshire from abroad – or who otherwise needs assistance – can call Senator Hassan’s Manchester office at 603-622-2204 to get connected with someone who can help, or can visit Hassan.senate.gov/services/help-with-a-federal-agency.
See below for recent coverage of Granite Staters returning home from abroad:
By Kevin Landrigan
Restrictions on foreign travel due to COVID-19 trapped more than three dozen New Hampshire residents in other countries, Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-NH, said Wednesday.
During a telephone interview, Hassan said she’s currently working with 20 of these citizens and is assisting 16 from other states to get either a commercial or government-sponsored flight back to America.
“Some people from other states haven’t been able to hook up with their member of Congress so folks we are helping let them know we’re glad to assist them as well if we can,” Hassan said.
Peru had the most significant dilemma for Americans when, in mid-March, leaders in that country imposed without warning a full quarantine that prevented nearly 2,000 Americans from getting home.
Late Wednesday, Hassan said she got word one New Hampshire resident had managed to board a flight from Cuzco to the capital of Lima that will lead to a connecting flight back to the United States.
“The underlying issue in Peru where we got the first six out was the fact that they were under a full quarantine. What complicates things is that when you are in a rural part of that nation and there is no mass transportation then you lack even the ability to get to an airport,” said Hassan, a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
These travelers have ranged from students studying abroad to tourists who came to visit the Inca ruins in Machu Picchu.
[…] Criticism for slow initial response
Several congressional leaders in both political parties were critical of the State Department for moving too slowly to deal with this problem.
“It is fair to say that at the outset of this issue more than a week ago the response from the State Department was that we didn’t see a plan in place,” Hassan said.
“There wasn’t an awareness that this would require kind of an all-tools-in-the-toolbox approach to get this done.”
Hassan said the agency’s posture has since gotten more robust.
“It has taken consistent pressure from not only elected officials in D.C. but also elected officials in other parts of the country,” Hassan said.
“My sense from my staff is that we are seeing a great deal more urgency from the State Department and that’s been encouraging.”
Hassan urged residents to reach out to her office with any travel concerns.
“If anyone out there has family that is abroad and they are concerned about their return, don’t hesitate to call our office at 603-622-2204,” Hassan added.
“All of our in-state staff is working remotely now so the call could go to voicemail, but I assure you someone will be getting back to you shortly.”
By Tyler Dumont
A couple arrived home in Concord on Wednesday after a visit to a friend in Morocco turned into a travel nightmare.
International air travel is among the restrictions put into effect by the Moroccan government to limit the spread of COVID-19. Nobody can fly in or out of the country on commercial airliners. Sue O’Connor said she and her husband Jewett O'Connor went to Morocco weeks ago to visit a friend before the escalation of the outbreak.
O’Connor was sick with a cough that concerned other travelers as she and her husband attempted to make their way home.
“I kept saying I don’t have the virus, I’ve had this for a month,” O’Connor said.
The O’Connor’s said they eventually connected with Sen. Maggie Hassan’s office and the United States Embassy who coordinated a plan to get them home.
The couple is extremely thankful to both Hassan and the embassy for their help.
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