New arrival from Laos pens letter to Weald residents to overcome any concerns
A message from new Weald resident:
My name is Leyla Pearson and I arrived in the village recently. I am writing to introduce myself and my boys Christopher, Sebastien and Nicholas.
As some of you might know, together with my husband, we have been living in Vientiane in Laos for the last eight months. My husband, John, is the British Ambassador in Laos.
Despite the COVID situation being much calmer in Laos than in the UK (at time of writing there have only been 12 cases and no deaths), the Foreign Office asked that we return to the UK for a short time. The healthcare standards in Laos fall well below that of the UK and it was deemed safer for me and the boys to be back here in case the situation worsened in Laos.
Before we left for Laos, we lived in South Sevenoaks. Two of our boys attended Weald School, and our youngest son went to Weald Pre-School. I have long wanted to live in Weald, but I certainly would have preferred for it to be in different circumstances. My husband has had to remain in Laos and it may be some time before the Foreign Office advise that we can return to him.
I understand that my sudden arrival in the village from overseas may have caused some concern. I wanted to take this opportunity to reassure you that there are no self-quarantine requirements for people coming to the UK from overseas.
There were some self-isolation measures in place for travellers returning to the UK from China, Iran, Korea and Italy but they were all lifted in mid-March. Conversely, there is a 14-day quarantine for British citizens going to Laos because of the risk that travellers from Europe may spread the virus in South East Asia.
Being so close to China and South Korea means that the Laotians have been monitoring the situation very closely and, as a family, we have been taking the necessary precautionary measures since December 2019.
The boys and I have been following the Government and NHS advice given to us on the plane here and we will be observing Public Health England guidance on social distancing.
I am sorry for any anxiety that our presence in the village might have caused and I hope I have managed to reassure anyone with concerns.