Repatriation flight brings Britons left stranded in Peru by Covid-19 outbreak back to UK

David Child

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.

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.

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.

More than 487,000 cases of coronavirus have now been recorded globally, according to data collated by Johns Hopkins University, causing around 22,000 deaths.

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​.