The first Government-chartered flight bringing Britons left stranded in Peru because of the coronavirus pandemic back to the UK has landed.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said Thursday's repatriation, carried out by a British Airways plane, could be followed by several more similar operations this week.
"We are working urgently with Peruvian authorities to deliver more flights in the coming days," he said in a post on Twitter.
Hundreds of Britons remain stuck in Peru, which has sealed its borders in an attempt to stop the spread of the Covid-19 outbreak.
The first govt-chartered @British_Airways flight from Peru has landed safely back in the UK. We are working urgently with Peruvian authorities to deliver more flights in the coming days.— Dominic Raab (@DominicRaab)March 26, 2020
They are among the up to one million UK nationals still reportedly on holiday or on business trips abroad, all of whom have been urged by the the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to return to the UK immediately.
However, airlines around the globe are cutting flights amid plunging demand, reducing travellers' options.
British nationals travelling overseas are strongly advised to return to the UK now.
Advice on how to return to the UK is being regularly updated. Visit the country travel advice page for more information. ⬇️— Foreign Office 🇬🇧 (@foreignoffice)March 25, 2020
For some, meanwhile, the situation has been further complicated by border closures rolled out as part of widespread lockdowns aimed at stemming the rate of coronavirus infections.
The FCO has said it is "working around the clock to support all British travellers in this situation" and help them "come back to the UK".
The Government has also advised Britons against all but essential international travel.
The virus first emerged in Wuhan, a city in China's Hubei province, in December last year. It has since reached every continent besides Antarctica.