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Couple stranded in Peru beg Government for help with flights

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Jayne Ryan and Ronan Carey are stuck in South America

Jayne Ryan and Ronan Carey are stuck in South America

Jayne Ryan and Ronan Carey are stuck in South America

Irish tourists stranded in Peru are pleading with the Government to help repatriate them.

Hundreds of Irish and UK citizens are stuck in the South American country after it shut its borders over the coronavirus outbreak.

The Irish embassy in Chile advised stranded citizens to book an emergency flight back to London - at a cost of around €3,000, which has been described as "extortionate".

A Dublin couple stranded in the city of Cusco said they now need the Irish Government to guarantee flights back to Europe for those stuck in Peru.

Jayne Ryan and Ronan Carey, from Lucan, flew to South America in late February, before a coronavirus case was even confirmed in Ireland.

Lockdown

"We were in the mountains on a trek when the announcement came through about the country going into lockdown. We were lucky to make it to Cusco," Jayne told the Herald.

"The problem is there is no guarantee of a flight out. People have to express interest, and at that the email from the embassy says there are only 250 seats.

"We're not looking for free flights but the price is extortionate. We just want a reasonable option to get home."

They are marooned in Cusco, near the Andes mountains and 20 hours from the capital, Lima.

On Tuesday, Irish citizens were told that a possible flight operated by Colombian airline Avianca was being considered and that costs would also cover "negotiating permissions from the authorities".

In an email sent by the Irish embassy in the Chilean capital, Santiago, as there is no embassy in Peru, tourists were told that this does not cover onward travel from London.

Stranded citizens were also informed that they had a deadline to register their interest for the planned flight from Lima.

The flight is "likely to be $3,000- $3,500 (€2,780-€3,240) one-way economy" with business-class seats available at a cost of $7,500 (€6,945).