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Dublin: 14 °C Monday 25 May, 2020

Peru gives go-ahead for Irish citizens stranded in Peru to be flown home

Tánaiste Simon Coveney and Peruvian Foreign Minister

With the Pacific Ocean in the background, policemen stand guard in Lima, Peru.
With the Pacific Ocean in the background, policemen stand guard in Lima, Peru.
Image: Rodrigo Abd

THE PERUVIAN GOVERNMENT has given Ireland the green light to fly over 130 Irish citizens out of Peru in the next few days.

Irish citizens who were visiting the country became stranded in Peru after it announced it would shut all air, land and sea borders with very little notice almost two weeks ago, leaving tourists with virtually no time to fly out.

The lockdown in Peru is very strict; a nighttime curfew is in place.

Following a call between Tánaiste and Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney and the Peruvian Foreign Minister Néstor Bardales, diplomatic clearance has now been given for a repatriation flight in the next few days.

The Department of Foreign Affairs is liaising with British Airways and Aer Lingus to organise this, and is still making arrangements for Irish citizens scattered around Peru to get to Lima, where the flight will depart from. 

A spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs said that its Embassy in Santiago, Chile, is in contact with Irish citizens in Peru and keeping them informed.

There are around 2,000 Irish citizens stranded in 86 countries across the world, as countries close their borders and airlines ground their flights in what the Irish government called “the biggest shutdown in global aviation since the dawn of commercial flight”.

We have never seen anything like it before… What we have seen in recent days is not only countries, but entire regions, close off airspace and ground airlines at short notice.

A flight was arranged by the Irish government to fly 170 stranded Irish citizens home from Perth, Australia yesterday.

There are hundreds of other Irish citizens stranded in Australia and New Zealand, many of them young people who have lost their jobs because of the shutdown imposed in Australia on Monday. 

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