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Telford father pleads with government not to forget his son stranded in Peru

By Dominic Robertson | Madeley | Coronavirus | Published:

The father of a Telford man quarantined in a Peruvian hostel with his girlfriend is pleading with the government not to forget them.

Jake and Hannah

Rob Smart's son, Jake, 29, from Madeley, has been quarantined in Cusco, Peru, since March 15.

He believes that all those staying at the hostel may be quarantined for a full 28-day period – and even fears that could be stretched to three months.

Mr Smart, 54, who is communicating with Jake via the internet from his Madeley home, said they wanted reassurance from the government that help will be available to get them home when the 28 days is up.

The government has arranged several repatriation flights for Brits stranded in Peru in recent days, but Jake's situation in quarantine means he is unlikely to be released for a flight, along with his Dutch girlfriend Hannah De Dreu.

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Mr Smart said: "We need the reassurance that at the end of 28 days they will have some help and won't be left to sort it out on their own."

He added that they wanted some communication from the government over what would happen, and had not yet been given any information about how and when Jake and Hannah will be able to get back to the UK.

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The couple, who were travelling in South America, are quarantined after someone in the hostel tested positive for coronavirus.

As a result they have been spending 23 hours a day in their room, with residents let out for staggered one-hour slots.

Worry

If they leave the hostel without permission they would face anything up to a five-to-ten-year prison sentence. Along with Jake and Hannah is their friend Alex Foulkes, also British, who they met by chance on the trip, but is now also stuck in the hostel with no idea when he will return home.

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Mr Smart said: "The big worry for my son - he's saying it is not the worst place in the world - but it is the lack of information from the British government."

He added: "I think people understand the 28 days if they are all in rooms separately, if they know they will be let out at the end of the 28 days – most people would go with that, but they do not know what will happen at that point.

"At the end of 28 days will the government get them home? We do not know."

Mr Smart has been in contact with staff at the office of Telford MP Lucy Allan and she said: "Advice to constituents stranded aboard over the last few weeks has been to get to the airport and take the first commercial flight you can.

"That is no longer an option in most countries and stranded residents are being advised to stay in touch with my team and the local consulate so we can continue to advise them as the situation changes."

The Foreign Office has been contacted for comment.

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