No way back: Millions of migrant workers face Christmas stranded abroad

Covid restrictions and border closures worldwide have left migrants in limbo with many unable to return home and fearful for the future, Kieran Guilbert reports

Tuesday 21 December 2021 18:37
<p>A migrant worker locked down in a dormitory in Singapore</p>

A migrant worker locked down in a dormitory in Singapore

Having gone two-and-a-half years without seeing her family, Zimbabwean hairdresser Tracy Kunembiri spent months planning a trip home from South Africa for Christmas – finally a chance for her two young children to meet their grandmother.

Then the Omicron variant emerged and scuppered the 26-year-old’s plans, leaving her among the ranks of millions of migrant workers globally who have been stuck abroad since the pandemic started. Many have no idea of when, or how, they will next make it home.

Ms Kunembiri cannot afford to go back to Zimbabwe because she would have to pay $60 (£45) for a PCR test and quarantine for 10 days.

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