5 Apr 2020

Covid-19: Solution 'close' for New Zealanders stranded in Peru

12:37 pm on 5 April 2020

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade says it's "very close" to a solution to get the remaining New Zealanders stuck in Peru home.

23062016 Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Wellington.

Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

  • If you have symptoms of the coronavirus, call the NZ Covid-19 Healthline on 0800 358 5453 (+64 9 358 5453 for international SIMs) or call your GP - don't show up at a medical centre

While some of those stranded have managed to catch a repatriation flight to the UK, 80 or so are still in Peru.

The ministry said it had helped thousands of New Zealanders during the Covid-19 pandemic, its largest and longest-running consular response.

"At its height our consular team in Wellington was receiving upwards of 200 calls and answering nearly as many emails per day, covering a wide range of topics," it said in a statement.

For those in Peru, it said it was "very close" to getting them out, but it was no easy task.

"The feasibility of other government-assisted departure flights will continue to be considered, including with our close partners, but there are no guarantees these will be possible in the extremely complex and rapidly-changing global situation."

The ministry has also secured a route home for 27 New Zealanders on a flight from Kathmandu to Brisbane, for seven people who had been in Uruguay, and a further 98 who had been on a cruise ship off Perth, Australia.

The Zaandam and Rotterdam cruise ships were yesterday allowed to dock in the United States and all 15 Kiwis on board are now also en route home.

"MFAT is working through all options, alongside international partners, to help New Zealanders to return home where viable," the statement said.

"The latest example is a Swiss International Air Lines flight, which will be flying to New Zealand to repatriate Swiss citizens that are currently in New Zealand.

"As part of this arrangement, the Swiss government is offering seats on a flight leaving Zurich this evening to New Zealanders currently in Switzerland who wish to return to New Zealand."

There are 22,665 New Zealanders registered as being overseas on the SafeTravel website, however the actual number will be higher as registration is voluntary.

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