Australians trapped in Peru face a fresh threat, with backpackers in a hostel with a confirmed case of COVID-19 told they can no longer leave, even for food or medical supplies, for the next 30 days.
Perth man Mervyn Sng, 26, has told The New Daily that his holiday now feels like “a prison”.
Authorities have told him he could be quarantined at his hostel for four weeks, or even longer.
That means he will not be able to join any rescue flights leaving the country and could be stuck in Peru for months.
“I’m currently staying in Pariwana Hostel in Cusco. We were told today that two people have tested positive for COVID-19 and since two days ago we haven’t been allowed to leave the hostel for either groceries or medicine,” Mr Sng said.
“As far as I know, we are all put under quarantine for at least 28 days – we were told one to three months, depending on their decision.
“Today we were all told to stay in our rooms and at lunch we were given a set of cutlery, a cup and a plate that we’d have to wash ourselves for the duration of our time here.
“We have to sit 1.5 metres from anyone else and some people had to eat on the floor because there weren’t enough tables.
“If it didn’t feel like prison before, it’s starting to now.”
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Mr Sng said the lockdown would be enforced by police and military officials.
“It was an announcement from the hostel manager: We were told that the military will be blocking us in. Currently there are three doctors from the ministry of health interviewing everyone,” he said.
Mr Sng said it was not clear if he would have to keep paying for a room in the hostel during the enforced stay.
“It’s shocking how poorly our government has responded to this – Israel took their citizens out after three days, even the Mexicans have repatriated their guys too,” he said.
“I’m not sure if we’re forced to continue paying for food, water and board for the next 28 to 90 days … but we have had to pay for the previous 10 days.”