Stranded British travellers and NHS workers are in a race against time to get on repatriation flights home, as hotels start closing down and countries ban flights.
In Bolivia, NHS nurse Jasmine Hames, 29, is trapped in a hostel on lockdown with her partner Brendan, 32.
tried booking flights home last week before the borders closed but they were unfortunately
Jasmine, who worked at Great Ormond Street Hospital before going travelling, said other travellers are being repatriated home but British citizens have been left behind.
She said they feel ‘completely abandoned’, telling Metro.co.uk: ‘We are staying in a hostel with people from other nationalities whose embassies seem to be flying them home such as Germany and Singapore but all the British people are still here.
‘As an NHS nurse I am desperate to get home and help as the situation in the UK is getting worse by the day.’
said she has received no help or communication from the British embassy in
Bolivia, and they have lost £2,000 on cancelled flights.
She said: ‘We cannot leave our hostel. The last time we heard from the embassy out here was five days ago when they told us there ‘might be a possibility’ of a flight to Madrid.’
Meanwhile, hundreds of people in Peru face being stuck there for ‘months’ after two reported cases of Covid-19 in a hostel meant around 150 tourists were placed into quarantine.
Others said their accommodation providers are planning to close at the end of March.
It came as Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announced that the
first Government-chartered British Airways flight from Peru ‘landed safely back
in the UK’ on Thursday morning after brokering an agreement to resume flying.
He added: ‘We are working urgently with Peruvian authorities to deliver more flights in the coming days.’
Speaking from Peru, English teacher Simon Taylor, 38, from
Hull, said: ‘Lots of hotels and hostels are planning to close (on March 31) and
that means people will need to move and their database for repatriation will
Alex Foulkes, 31, a BBC film-maker from Wrexham in Wales, said he is among the tourists inside the Pariwana backpacker hostel in Cusco, Peru, which has been placed into quarantine after guests tested positive for coronavirus.
He said: ‘It feels like being in prison. We literally just have beds in our rooms and the bathroom is shared by dozens of travellers.
‘I’m not sure how we’ll cope with being confined to our
rooms for the next three months for 23 hours a day.
‘There’s a mixture of emotions in the hostel at the moment. The news that we could be trapped here for three months is devastating.’
Elsewhere, repatriation efforts around the world have seen special flights chartered.
In Guatemala, where flights have been cancelled, Southampton postman Marc Wilson said he was helped by the British Embassy on to a bus crossing the border into Mexico City, where he hopes to get a plane home.
The 33-year-old said: ‘If everything goes to plan, I’ll be
home by Sunday. I’m still worried Mexico might shut before then.
‘The embassy has called to say they are changing which
border we are going through in the morning, so it sounds like they are
beginning to shut to me.’
And in Cambodia, Chloe Sloggett, 24, an aesthetics practitioner from north London, said she is facing an anxious wait alongside scores of others to get on a charter flight to Heathrow via Kuala Lumpur on Friday.
She said: ‘It has been touch and go the whole time and many people have been sceptical. The Facebook group has been our main hope and a way of seeing how many people are in the same situation.
‘It’s been very stressful for us as it has been so hard to
get any answers from anyone in the UK or the embassy here.
‘Luckily we as a couple haven’t lost loads of money due to booking flights that won’t go ahead; however, I know so many others who now have thousands of pounds of credit with multiple airlines.’
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