Coronavirus: Couple stuck in Peru 'desperate' to get back to UK

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Shreena Parmar and Rory Shanks
Image caption,
The pair have been in Peru since March

A British couple stranded in Peru said they were desperate to return home after the country went into lockdown.

Shreena Parmar and her partner Rory Shanks flew out to the South American country in early March before any coronavirus cases were confirmed there.

Peru has now shut its borders and a handful of flights have been arranged to bring British nationals home.

The Foreign Office said it was working "round the clock" to help British travellers stuck abroad.

The couple, both 29 and from Bristol, are in Cusco in the Andes mountains.

Miss Parmar said they were staying in their hostel because of worries about staying healthy.

'Stock up'

"We've been indoors for 12 days now," she said.

"There is a heavy police presence on the streets and about a week ago we were advised to stock up on food.

"There is no social distancing in the supermarkets here and they are quite small so we're worried about catching the virus."

Peru shut its borders on March 15 and although the Foreign Office has arranged repatriation flights, the capital Lima is a 20-hour drive from Cusco.

'More restrictions'

The pair said the dilemma was that if they went to Cusco Airport without a boarding pass they would not be let in the terminal.

But, if they left their accommodation they would not be let back in, meaning they could be left in the city with no way home and nowhere to stay.

"We decided to stay in our accommodation because we are safe here," Miss Parmar said.

"One of our main concerns is getting out before even more restrictions are placed on movement."

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: "The Foreign Office has chartered thee more flights for British travellers in Peru - as well as domestic flights to help those in Cusco."

They added that the UK government "thank the Peruvian government for all their support in making this happen".

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