News Coronavirus Aussies trapped in Peru kicked out of hotel rooms amid coronavirus lockdown

Aussies trapped in Peru kicked out of hotel rooms amid coronavirus lockdown

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There are hundreds of Australians trapped in Peru – which has locked down its airports and grounded all flights. Photo: Facebook
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Australians trapped in Peru are being kicked out of their hotel rooms and in some cases are unable to connect with $5,000 one-way rescue flights as the country prepares to go into lockdown.

Frightened tourists have told The New Daily they have had little contact with the Australian Embassy, closed during the lockdown, and many are confused about whether Qantas flights are still operating.

Overnight, there were unconfirmed reports that backpackers had heard of police entering hostels to ensure tourists did not break curfew.

Qantas announced this week it was suspending international flights but might offer some repatriation flights in certain circumstances.

Heather McKay, an Australian travelling in Peru said she was getting kicked out of hotel accommodation after the weekend.

“My hotel closing Monday. Have offered to transfer me. Have accepted but getting worried,” she said.

Another woman, ‘Joan’, said “we are two hours from Cusco and lucky when we got the phone call we had to go to airport we had transport offered through agency but we refused to go because there weren’t connecting flights. The hotel was going to close but luckily a tour group turned up. There are 21 here.”

Valentina Kerr and her husband Chris are stuck in Cusco, Peru.

“Kicked out of our hotel without notice … well the story seems to be the same for a lot of people,” she said.

“I use a walking stick and rely on meds. We are on our own in an AirBnB. Just coping.”

“Unbelievable that Australian government had handed millions over so quickly to Qantas early on, instead of hiring them to repatriate Aussies.”

Christine Reardon is stranded in the Amazon jungle.

Her daughter, Samantha, complains the “government is doing nothing”.

“It took three calls before they even suggested anything and didn’t take down any details.”

“About sixty people are stuck outside Lima and Cusco. We need to make sure that when the next plane leaves, these people are are on it.”

“Qantas had a plane scheduled (for April 1) which would have brought home hundreds of Aussies via Santiago … if they let this flight go ahead, lots of problems will be fixed.”

Christine Reardon is stuck in the Amazon jungle.

Some countries, including Israel, have repatriated their own citizens.

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz organised with Peruvian authorities to provide a police escort and they would be flown home free of charge.

The operation was being conducted under “the principle of mutual responsibility under which the State of Israel operates in a time of national emergency,” he said.

The Prime Minister said this week he was unaware of the plight of the Australians trapped in Peru until it was brought to his attention by media reports.

But he warned there were ‘limitations’ to what Australia can do to help.

“Our wonderful DFAT team will continue to assist Australians wherever they practically can,” he said.

“But there are limitations to what can be done.”

The Department of Foreign Affairs has informed all citizens already abroad to return home on commercial flights as soon as possible.