Irish stuck in Peru plead for Government help to get out

Irish citizens trapped in Peru have again pleaded with the Irish government to get them out of the country.
Irish stuck in Peru plead for Government help to get out
Trapped tourist Andrew Cotter: "Minister Coveney mentioned on Monday there was a plan for flights within 48 hours. This has not happened”

Irish citizens trapped in Peru have again pleaded with the Irish government to get them out of the country.

Just three days ago, they were told there might be a flight to take them out of the country today.

But a group of around 35 are based in a city about 21 hours drive from Lima where some flights are getting in and out and have no means of getting on the flight.

They include couples from Cork staying in the south eastern Peruvian city of Cusco.

Andrew Cotter from Mitchelstown, said: “We would like Simon Coveney to please share more details on potential repatriation flights asap.

"He mentioned on Monday there was a plan for flights within 48 hours. This has not happened.”

He said the couple is considering a move into an airbnb to reduce the risk of getting quarantined in their hostel in case someone was to test positive.

The situation in Cusco is growing increasingly desperate.

“We’ve been notified that a tourist staying in a hostel in our street has passed away from the virus,” Mr Cotter said.

“This has caused that hostel to be barricaded and the military have evoked a 28-day quarantine for all guests and staff.

If there is a case of the virus found in our hostel, we’ll be on further quarantine for another 28 days.

“This increases the urgency for us to avoid this disastrous situation.”

And he added: “The military are now taking people’s temperatures in the markets, pharmacies and if you’re found leaving your hostel.

“The military are also following people leaving the hostel to go to the market. The market is a two-minute walk for us.

"Yesterday more hostels in Cusco have been shut down leaving tourists homeless.”

A Department of Foreign Affairs spokesperson said: “The situation is no longer as simple as chartering flights, we need permission to enter airspace and regions on the way back to Ireland.

"Therefore for the last 24 hours we have been focused on getting every possible Irish citizen on the shrinking number of commercial flights. In cases like Peru, we have an arrangement in place with Aer Lingus and British Airways for a repatriation flight to go in.

“Internal travel remains heavily restricted and many of our citizens are located hundreds of miles away from the international airport.”

However, things look more positive for medics who want to return from Perth to help fight against Covid-19.

A DFA spokesperson said: “We have a significant group traveling commercially through London today and others will travel through Qatar tomorrow.”

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