A ROMSEY family has been forced to fork out thousands of pounds to fly home from Australia amid fears over coronavirus.

Hannah and Graham Hughes, from Fairview Drive, paid £5,000 to rebook flights from New South Wales after their journey was cancelled, due to the family not being allowed to travel through Singapore.

What should have been a long-haul break with their sons Harry, 4, and Jack, 2, left the tourists trapped in Hunter Valley after already spending £2,400 on flights to jet off Down Under.

Now the mother of two has revealed the family are back in England after self-isolating in their Australian Airbnb in a bid to protect themselves from the “killer” virus.

Hannah, 38, said: "We had a flight booked for Tuesday, 31 March, with Qatar Airways, but we had to pay £5,000 to get the family home and safe.

"Our initial flights were for Monday, 23 March, from Sydney to London with Singapore Airlines. These were then cancelled and we were rebooked on a flight for Wednesday, 25 March.

“However, we were not allowed to pass through Singapore, leaving us stranded."

Mrs Hughes, who works for Ace Liftaway, added Australia was like a "ghost town", stressing "the virus is a killer, which people need to take seriously".

As previously reported in the Romsey Advertiser, Hannah said the family wanted to return home as soon as possible after discovering Graham's grandad, John, "unfortunately passed away", worrying they would miss he funeral.

Hannah also told the Advertiser she was in contact with MP for Romsey and Southampton North, Caroline Nokes, who “has been amazing”.

She said: “I emailed her and I trust she did everything she could to get us home.

“I’m glad she was on our side and thank god she is our MP.”

Ms Nokes said: "I have been working with many constituents stranded around the globe and am optimistic that the repatriation effort may at last be underway.

"I first suggested to the Foreign Secretary that he should work with airlines to bring back Brits abroad three weeks ago, then again two weeks ago in an Urgent Question to the House; I am pleased to see he is now doing so, but am disappointed that it has taken this long."

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: "We recognise British tourists abroad are finding it difficult to return to the UK because of the unprecedented international travel and domestic restrictions that are being introduced around the world – often with very little or no notice.

“The government has partnered with a number of airlines who have committed to work together to get Brits back to the UK and up to £75 million has been made available for charter flights were commercial options are no longer available. "We’ll continue working around the clock to bring people home.”

The Hughes flew out to Australia for Graham's 40th birthday on March 5 and returned on Wednesday, April 1.