Oslo charters flight to return homeless Romanians due to coronavirus

The Local Norway
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Oslo charters flight to return homeless Romanians due to coronavirus
A plane operated by Wierøe Air departs an airport in Norway (the city did not disclose which company was supplying the plane) Jan Einar Fardal/Widerøe

Oslo has chartered a special flight to return 140 homeless people from the Roma minority back to their homes in Romania, the city's mayor Raymond Johansen announced on Tuesday evening.


The flight will leave Oslo's Gardermoen airport on Wednesday. 
In a press release, the city said that many of the group, who have become a feature of Oslo's streets since Romania entered the EU in 2007, now wanted to return to the villages or cities from where they came so they could be with their families. 
"Those who are travelling are anxious about infection, both for themselves and for family members that many have left behind in their home country," city mayor Raymond Johansen said in the release. 
"At the same time we are reliant on the fact that those who are resident in Oslo are in a position to keep to the measures we have brought in. 
For that reason we have decided to arrange a home journey, together with Kirkens bymisjon, The Red Cross, and the Salvation Army. 
The decision to arrange a flight comes days after the city arranged a bus which on March 15 took 63 Roma back from to Romania from Oslo. 
Since then, borders have been closed across Europe, making it now impossible for the group to travel overland. 


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