Taiwanese tourists in Peru take private charter to U.S.

MOFA spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安)/CNA file photo
MOFA spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安)/CNA file photo

TAIPEI (CNA) — A group of 72 Taiwanese tourists flew from Peru to the United States on a privately chartered jet Thursday and they are expected to return to Taiwan soon, after being stranded in the South American country along with 60 other compatriots, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Friday.

The 72 Taiwanese paid for the charter after Peru declared a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak and closed its borders on March 16 to all commercial traffic.

The chartered jet arrived Thursday night in Miami, and the 72 passengers will arrange other commercial flights from there back to Taiwan, according to MOFA spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安).

The other 60 Taiwanese who are still stranded in Peru are in contact in with Taiwan’s representative office there, which is trying to find a way to get them home, Ou said.

She said 42 of them are in the city of Cusco, nine are in Arequipa, and nine in Lima.

Since Peru on March 15 closed its land, sea, and air borders for 15 days due to a spike in COVID-19 cases, many travelers have been stranded there as commercial flights have been canceled and some airports shut down.