Coronavirus: Quebec couple stuck in Peru after country goes on COVID-19 lockdown

As COVID-19-related travel restrictions around the world grow increasingly severe, a couple from Rigaud say they’re stuck in Peru with no way home. The South American country is on lockdown, and has banned all travel either in or out for at least two weeks.

“The crew that was going to Machu Pichu at the time, they were in the bus ready to go at eight in the morning and then we got word the government had shut down everything,” said Robert.

Starting March 16, Peru banned all transportation — land, air, sea and river — for at least two weeks. Everyone has been ordered to stay inside.

“I don’t believe we should be prevented from going home to our own country. We’re healthy, we’re able,” Robert McKinnon explained.

According to the couple,  other planes have been flying during the lock down.

“Why are some people permitted to go and we are not? Why are we in a void of information?” said McKinnon.

They have been in touch with the Canadian embassy and with their Member of Parliament, Peter Schiefke. Schiefke told Global News there are over 4,300 Canadians in Peru, and that the government is working hard to bring them home.

“There’s so much complexity to that particular situation,” he said.

“We want to make sure when we do send the resources using private carriers like Air Canada and so forth, that we’ve done all the logistical work behind the scenes to make sure when they do arrive they can get everybody out.”

In an email to Global News, the Peruvian government said they could not provide information on the subject and to contact the Canadian embassy. The Canadian embassy in Peru sent an automatic email mentioning they are getting an extremely high volume of calls and advising people to stay put.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday he had spoken to the heads of Air Canada and West Jet about bringing Canadians home from abroad.

The McKinnons just hope they’re departure will be sooner rather than later.

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