Nurse, 25, stranded in Peru with her best friend says she is desperately trying to return to Australia but is stuck in a hotel room during lockdown
- Two Australian nurses are stranded in their Peru hotel room during lockdown
- Kate Kitto, 25, from the Gold Coast and Genevieve Pyne, 23, from Brisbane
- The friends were unable to fly back to Australia before Peru shut its borders
- They can not secure flights and are receiving little help from the government
Two nurses are stranded in a Peru hotel room after failing to make it back to Australia before lockdown.
Friends Kate Kitto, 25, from the Gold Coast and Genevieve Pyne, 23, from Brisbane are stuck in the Miraflores district of Lima.
Ms Kitto said they failed to secure a flight to Australia when Peru was closing its borders.
Two Australian nurses, Kate Kitto (pictured left) and Genevieve Pyne (right), are trapped in their Lima hotel room after they could not fly home before Peru shut its borders
‘We’ve been in lockdown since midnight on Tuesday, we were given 24 hours to leave and we couldn’t make it out,’ she told the ABC.
The pair arrived in Peru last week and were intending to travel around Bolivia, Brazil and Chile for two months.
‘As soon as we found out, we were about four hours away in Paracas and we paid a man to take us to the airport as quick as he could,’ Ms Kitto said.
She described the airport as chaotic and said they waited in hour-long lines while frantically trying to secure flights.
‘Until four o’clock in the morning we were trying to book flights on our phone but everything was booked out,’ Ms Kitto said.
She said there were flights to Australia going for $8000 but even those were full.
The friends went to a hotel room to get some sleep before returning to the airport.
Ms Kitto said that authorities told the friends they needed to get a hotel room and stay in lockdown for a 14 days.
Pictured: Doctors performed temperature checks as a coronavirus precaution in Lima airport
The pair also found out that a 30-day minimum travel ban had been enforced in Peru with no planes, buses or taxis in operation.
Ms Kitto said they were unable to receive any help from the Australian embassy in Lima as it had shut down on March 15.
The friends were also only given generic advice by the embassy in Australia and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The Australian government did not provide the friends with any information beyond the Smart Traveller advice.
Ms Kitto said they had no idea when they would be able to return home.
The Australian ambassador to Peru and Bolivia, Diana Nelson, the embassy in Peru was closed to the public ‘due to the state of emergency’.
She announced on her social media: ‘If you are in Peru and safe, remain where you are.’
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade issued a warning to all Australian travellers that they should return home now if they wished to do so.
DO NOT TRAVEL: OFFICIAL ADVICE FOR AUSTRALIANS
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade says: ‘We now advise all Australians: do not travel overseas at this time.
‘This is our highest advice level (level 4 of 4).
If you are already overseas and wish to return to Australia, we recommend you do so as soon as possible by commercial means.
‘Regardless of your destination, age or health, our advice is do not travel at this time.
‘As more countries close their borders or introduce travel restrictions, overseas travel is becoming more complex and difficult. You may not be able to return to Australia when you had planned to. Consider whether you have access to health care and support systems if you get sick while overseas. If you decide to return to Australia, do so as soon as possible. Commercial options may become less available.
‘If you are overseas and cannot, or do not want to, return to Australia, follow the advice of local authorities. Take care to minimise your risk of exposure to coronavirus including by self-isolating. If you choose to stay, note our ability to provide consular assistance in some places may be limited due to restrictions on movement and other services.’
For the official Australian government guidance to travellers during the COVID-19 crisis, visit the SmartTraveller website.