British travellers stranded in Peru are being asked by the UK government to pay over £3,000 each to be flown home.
The South American nation has declared a state of emergency and imposed a nationwide curfew between 8pm and 5am daily.
All normal scheduled flights to and from Peru are currently banned. The only available terrestrial transport permitted are buses and official taxis within – not between – cities.
The British Embassy in Lima has posted a notice on Twitter asking UK nationals to register their interest in a charter flight operated by the Colombian-based airline, Avianca.
It reads: “Avianca is considering putting in place a charter flight from Lima to London this weekend for stranded tourists.
“They will also put in place a connecting flight from Cusco to Lima to connect with this London flight.”
British citizens are urged to register their interest. The embassy explains: “They can only commit to this charter if there is sufficient demand.”
UK diplomats are understood to have secured exemption from the state of emergency lockdown for passengers on the flight.
The announcement says: “The price range is likely to be US$3,000-$3,500 one way, economy class.”
Business class also available at $7,500 (£6,500).
British travellers who choose to stay in Peru are advised to find “secure accommodation for the confirmed period of 15 days”.
Kasey Butler tweeted: “I tried calling and going to the embassy today, found both were closed.
“My hostel is locking us in our rooms as of 10pm tonight until the end of the 15 day lockdown.”
The request for up to $3,500 (£3,030) per person for a repatriation flight is in stark contrast to the airlifts organised for British citizens in Wuhan, the centre of the coronavirus outbreak.
The move came on the day when a National Audit Office report revealed that 77,000 Thomas Cook customers without Atol protection were brought home after the firm’s collapse at an average cost to UK taxpayers of £1,078 per passenger.