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Australia Sydney couple in Peru 'feel abandoned' by Australian government

08:26  23 march  2020
08:26  23 march  2020 Source:   smh.com.au

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Mr Fay wondered why the Australian government couldn't do the same, adding he was happy to pay for tickets. "Qantas has just grounded most of its Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Foreign Minister Marise Payne was considering options to get isolated Australians home, including those stuck in Peru .

Many Australians have told SBS News they feel abandoned by the Australian government and have been forced to turn to Twitter and Facebook groups for A DFAT spokesperson said the " Australian Government is working to assist Australians in Peru with the Peruvian Government , likeminded

Matthew and Gabe Ryan were cycling the length of South America when the coronavirus lockdown trapped them in Peru. © SMH Matthew and Gabe Ryan were cycling the length of South America when the coronavirus lockdown trapped them in Peru. A Sydney couple trapped in Peru by the country's hasty coronavirus lockdown say they "feel abandoned" by the Australian government and have no way to get home.

Gabe and Matthew Ryan left home for their honeymoon in July last year intending to cycle the length of South America.

As the world was gripped by the coronavirus outbreak, Gabe, a clinical psychologist, says she and her husband, a software engineer, monitored the news about its spread when they arrived in Peru on March 8.

"At that stage there were only a handful of cases of COVID-19 in South America, and no cases in Peru," she told the Herald from a hotel in the city of Cajamarca, which is about 850 kilometres from the capital, Lima, and 2000 kilometres from the tourist hub of Cusco.

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Two LATAM airline flights will evacuate Australians from Peru and Argentina. Melbourne couple Olivia Natoli and Dean Di Staso said they can afford to pay to leave Lima, but it may The Peruvian government has banned all flights out of the country with the exception of officially organised charters

I feel totally abandoned .' Mr Butler was able to get to a bigger city in Argentina, Bariloche, but The cost includes approvals and transport to navigate a country-wide lockdown in Peru , with Australian The Peruvian government have put curfews in place between 8pm and 5am in an attempt to curb

"Last Sunday [March 15], the Peruvian government announced that on the 16th they would be entering a state of emergency, borders closed and a compulsory, nationwide 15-day quarantine period," she said.

The couple were in Celendin, a town of 25,000, more than 1000 kilometres from Lima, when the news was announced.

"The next day the quarantine started and the hotel staff disappeared. We were alone in a hotel in a small town in rural Peru."

They have since been moved by a police escort to the hotel in Cajamarca, which remains staffed by one person.

The Australian embassy in Peru closed the day before the lockdown.

When the couple contacted the Department of Foreign Affair and Trade, they were told "the government has no plans to assist with repatriation" and to try to get home by commercial means.

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Hundreds of Britons stranded in Peru due to coronavirus could be flown home early next week The FCO said it would continue to work with the Peruvian government to arrange further flights in coming days. A young British woman stuck in Peru has said she feels ' abandoned ' by the UK Government .

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Charter flights from Lima and Cusco had been organised by the 300-plus Australians trapped in Peru.

One has been cancelled and the other is fully booked.

"The other is being organised by a private tour company called Chimu. Economy tickets were $5100 per person and they said they could not do anything to help those people who weren't in Lima or Cusco."

The city of Cajamarca in Peru is about 850 kilometres from the capital, Lima, and 2000 kilometres from the tourist hub of Cusco. © Google maps The city of Cajamarca in Peru is about 850 kilometres from the capital, Lima, and 2000 kilometres from the tourist hub of Cusco. Private vehicles are banned from the roads, so the couple - like many other Australians - are unable to get to either city.

"The government keeps assuring us that they are doing all they can. But other countries, that are doing all they can, have got or are getting their people out," she said.

Israel, Mexico and the US are among the countries whose citizens have been evacuated, with plans for citizens of Britain, Germany and Canada to be evacuated.

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An Aussie couple who planned a relaxing island holiday were shocked when they discovered their hotel was completely deserted hours after they checked in. Posting on Facebook on Thursday, Batemans Bay woman Erica Shaw said just six hours after checking in they discovered the a

"As of today all airports in Peru are officially closed. Any future humanitarian flights need to go through the military base.

"We really just want some more communication from the government so we know what's going on. Everything is so uncertain and a lot of people are very afraid. We need the government's help to get us all to Lima and then on a flight home, ideally at a non-extortionate price," she said.

Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne tweeted on Sunday that "[Australia] is working with counterparts to assist Australians to return. I spoke with my counterparts in Canada, Brazil, Peru, Germany, Morocco and Turkey by teleconference earlier, as we try to facilitate departures for our nationals in many countries."

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Coronavirus evacuation flight to leave Peru this week, but Australians will still be left behind .
Hundreds of Australians in Peru hoping to get home amid the coronavirus pandemic will miss out on a government-charted evacuation flight to Sydney for which tickets cost more than $5,000 and are now sold out.On Thursday, the Australian Federal Government announced it would be "facilitating" charter flights to bring Australians home from Peru and Uruguay via the Australian-owned travel company Chimu Adventures.

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