A Staffordshire couple have told how a bucket-list trip across the world has turned into a nightmare after being stranded in Peru due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Retired couple Steve and Anna Dobson were enjoying the holiday of a lifetime touring parts of South America for almost three weeks.
But five days into their adventure, the pair became stranded in Cusco in Peru as the country went into lockdown over the coronavirus outbreak.
They have been forced to remain in their hotel and can only go out to get food and essential supplies, with areas under strict police patrol.
Now they are desperate to return home to Uttoxeter and are calling on the Government to organise a rescue flight.
Currently no flights are allowed to enter or leave Peru without government permission to land.
The couple say the only way they can get home is to get a flight from Peruvian capital Lima, which is around 1,000 miles away from where they are in lockdown.
Speaking to DerbyshireLive, Steve also revealed he was concerned for Anna’s health as she is a type 1 diabetic.
Steve said: “We’re locked in the hotel – we can go out for medicines or for food for short periods but if you don’t keep moving the police move you on.
“There’s hardly anyone on the streets, except a few local people and dozens of police and army.
“When we go out we wear masks as the police are insisting on it and we were berated by local people when we didn’t wear them initially.
“The biggest concern is for Anne’s health. Currently she’s keeping well, apart from the issues with difficulty in breathing due to high altitude. She is feeling vulnerable and the healthcare here is not up to UK standards if anything should happen.
“We’re a thousand miles from Lima and we have to get there to fly home.
“With the closure of the main airport in Lima any repatriation flights are being handled by the military airport which has no facilities for handling a lot of people.
“No baggage handling, security screening, check-in facilities or anything, and they say they can only handle one plane daily. Which all indicates that it’ll take some time whatever happens.”
Steve said the Government’s help on their situation has so far been disappointing.
“We’re lobbying our MP and the UK Government to try and arrange flights but it’s only government to government involvement that can allow charter flights in to take us out,” he added.
“The biggest problem is trying to keep up with all the information that is around and sort the wheat from the chaff. Hopes rise, only to be dashed.”
A spokesman for the Government’s Foreign Office said: “We are working round the clock to make flights available next week for British people who wish to leave Peru but who are currently unable to do so on commercial flights because of the travel restrictions that have been imposed.”