Couple unable to get home to Spain say they feel in limbo

Sarah and Paul Skitmore, who are currently stranded in Norwich, unable to get home to Spain. Picture

Sarah and Paul Skitmore, who are currently stranded in Norwich, unable to get home to Spain. Picture: Sarah Skitmore - Credit: Archant

A couple who are stranded in Norwich unable to get home to Spain because of coronavirus say they feel like they’re stuck in limbo.

Paul and Sarah Skitmore moved from Norwich to a small village in Andalucia, southern Spain, in 2004.

On March 4, the couple returned to Norwich, where many of their family still live, to attend the funeral of a relative.

They were due to return to Andalucia on March 23, but when Spain went into lockdown the couple’s flight was cancelled.

Now, they are stuck in the UK and unsure of when they’ll be able to return home after they had further flights back to Spain cancelled.

Sarah Skitmore, 54, said: “It was a shock because we had the date of the March 23 to go back and then the airline hadn’t said anything but we thought ‘can we actually get back to Spain?’”

Since realising they would not be able to fly home, the couple have been staying in their relative’s house, an option Mrs Skitmore said the couple were lucky to have.

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She said seeing Spain and then the UK go into lockdown had been “very emotional”, and added: “Paul was very concerned that England didn’t do the same thing as Spain, while they were in lockdown, Here we were still going to the pub and out with friends, while in Spain they just completely shut down and I think it worked, although it wasn’t very nice for them.”

Mrs Skitmore said she and her husband were finding being away from home difficult and said although they knew Norwich it no longer felt like home.

“We definitely feel in limbo... It’s difficult,” she said.

“We have some really good friends [in Spain] and because we’ve been there for 16 years it’s just our home now. I feel such a pull, not being in your own surroundings [is hard], even though Norwich is a home for us, we don’t actually have a home here.”

The couple said they were keeping a constant eye on flights. Mrs Skitmore said: “It’s very concerning, it’s very sad what’s going on, sometimes it feels just like a dream but it’s what it is and hopefully everybody will come out of it okay.”