The dramatic situation of hundreds of travelers throughout Peru looking a way to return their homelands is slightly coming to a fortunate conclusion. On March 12, President Martin Vizcarra issued a Supreme Decreet declaring a State of Emergency due to the rising number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country, reaching 155 cases as of March 19. Measures like humanitarian flights demonstrate the hospitality of Peruvians in such extreme circumstances.
Travelers’ Former Situation
The airport of Cusco, the main touristic city as for its closeness to Machu Picchu, turned from a regular schedule with peaks on early mornings into a swarm of desperate nationals and foreigners aiming to purchase a ticket to return home or change the date of their flight before the travel restriction deadline on March 16 as their original flights were canceled.
Similar cases were reported in airports of cities like Lima, the capital, and bus terminals. The 15-day State of Emergency dictates a restriction of free movement in which all inhabitants must stay at home having permission to leave their residence only to shop for food and medicines, as well as other essential services. Media reported travelers with ongoing itineraries agreeing with the hard decisions taken, but the majority of them urged to go back home with the fear of running out of money or facing a worse situation far away from their relatives.
Peru Offers Humanitarian Help to Tourists
Although the main purpose of the current lockdown is to stop the spread of the virus by transportation restrictions, humanitarian flights are being arranged to send stranded travelers to their homelands and also to repatriate Peruvians abroad. In case you need to apply for this benefit, fill the form in the bottom of this article.
About 190 Chilean visitors in the southern region of Tacna could finally get home safely thanks to the teamwork of the Chilean and Peruvian embassies alongside airlines such as Latam, Sky and Jetsmart.
Authorities in Cusco foresaw the situation and organized charter flights to Lima. All affected visitors were registered and thanks to the labor of the Prefecture and the Foreign Affairs Ministry, 190 visitors landed in Lima on March 16.
Meanwhile, those who were in the volcanic region of Arequipa were offered free accommodation in hotel rooms located in downtown for free. Similar measures are evaluated to happen in cities with affected people such as Lima and Cusco, stated the director of the Regional Chamber of Tourism.
Official of more nations also praises the collaboration of the Peruvian officers. About 600 Mexican citizens were repatriated on special flights of Interjet and Aeromexico on March 19.
Instructions for Stranded Tourists
Stay calm. Remember as long as you remain in Peruvian territory you are also subject of the restrictions of the lockdown. Please, fill out the form provided in the link below and contact your embassy or consulate to inform your situation.
consultasenlinea.mincetur.gob.pe/registroTurista (in English and Spanish)