CP columnist Richard Wright and features writer Kate Cranwell are trapped in Kathmandu, Nepal, by coronavirus.

They are among the estimated one million Brits abroad struggling to get home and among more than 100 marooned in the Nepalese capital.

The Nepalese government on Sunday grounded all flights in and out of the country until at least March 31.

Prices for the few seats available before Sunday rocketed to more than £2,800 each.

"A few of our party managed to escape and we would have been on the last flight out on Saturday but Fly Dubai re-booked our seats to other travellers who had been due to be on an earlier cancelled flight," said Richard.

"We were trapped at the very last minute and Oman Air was prevented by the Nepalese government from putting on an extra rescue flight.

"We have been to the very helpful British Consulate and appealed for assistance in getting home by putting pressure on Nepal to allow a rescue.

"We are concerned that if the level of infection takes off here that we are in a country that will be completely overwhelmed.

"Already there are signs that Nepal is heading the same way as the UK."

Kate said: "We really miss our families and friends and want to get home — but, at least at the moment, we appreciate there are worse places to be stuck.

"It's sunny and warm, the local people and our fellow travellers are lovely and the bars are still open.

"But how long that will last we don't know."

Richard, 65, and 48-year-old Kate, from Newport, are particularly concerned that if there is a global travel lockdown they could be marooned abroad for a considerable time.

They hope the Nepalese government, which grounded flights at short notice, will relax the ban for long enough either for a British government rescue or a commercial flight to take people home.

They booked the trip more than a year ago and holidayed before a pandemic was declared and travel restrictions imposed.

Update, Monday 8.35am: Diplomatic efforts have come to the rescue of Richard and Kate.

The Nepalese government backtracked on its flights ban and has allowed several out this week, including one on Thursday to allow repatriation of British holidaymakers.

Richard and Kate have booked on Thursday's Qatar Airways flight from Kathmandu.

"We very much hope it goes ahead and we are grateful for the efforts of the British Consulate that has made it possible," said Richard.

"We were frustrated but appreciate there are so many people in far worse situations caused by this virus."