Jack Quann
Jack Quann

12.41 20 Mar 2020


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A number of Irish people in Peru have been told their only way home for the time being is a charter flight costing more than US$3,000 (€2,796) a ticket.

Dozens of Irish citizens are stuck in the South American country, after Peru shut its borders to deal with the coronavirus crisis.

The Department of Foreign Affairs is working to help Irish people stuck in other countries to get home.

However restrictions on movement and airline cancellations are hampering efforts.

Physiotherapist Niamh Brennan has been in Peru since March 2nd and is trying to find a way home.

She is in a hostel with three other Irish citizens.

She told Pat Kenny: "We had a flight booked out on the 27th of March and we tried to bring that forward when things started to escalate and booked new flights for the 18th.

"But then when the lock down came into effect at midnight on the 16th we didn't have time to leave Peru in time".

The state of emergency declared there means its land and air borders are shut, while tourists have to stay in their hotels or hostels.

A curfew is also in effect between 8.00pm and 5.00am with police patrolling the streets.

Niamh said: "We had to pay a flat fare at the beginning of the full two weeks of quarantine, that included our bed and three meals a day, cooked by hostel staff"

"We haven't been out on the street... but there's not any tourists really out on the streets.

"I think tourists are quite nervous to venture out".

She explained: "So we did contact the Irish embassy in Chile and we e-mailed them just letting them know our situation because they control the Peru area as well.

"And they replied to us with an offer for a flight that's been $3,000 and $3,500.

"And that is due to leave this weekend with Avianca, if there's enough interest in that flight".

She said they have not received refunds for the flights they have booked so far.

"We're trying our best to do some activities in the hostel to kind of make the days go by - any later than 8 (o'clock) we have to shut it down and go to our rooms because any socializing is just going to be penalised.


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