The Swiss government will organize two flights next week to repatriate 630 tourists from the Central European country who have been stranded in Peru and Colombia as a result of sanitary measures taken to curb the expansion of COVID-19, it said in a statement on Saturday.
Charter flights from Bogotá and Lima will be carried out on March 24 and 25 by the Swiss airline Edelweiss, in collaboration with the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, added the state communication.
Border closings and flight cancellations have affected tourists worldwide, and in Switzerland Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis already asked last Thursday, March 19, that all Swiss travelers outside the country return as soon as possible , as restrictions are presumed to be increasing.
Swiss authorities are preparing similar measures to repatriate some 100 tourists from the country who have been blocked in Costa Rica.
In previous weeks, other Swiss citizens from the focus of the epidemic were repatriated in Wuhan, Switzerland, in collaboration with France, and also on cruise ship passengers affected by the pandemic or the restrictions taken against it.
Switzerland is one of the countries with the most cases of coronavirus in the world (around 5,000), although the number of deaths is relatively small (33), and this Friday tightened prevention measures, although for now it has not ordered the confinement decreed in nearby countries like Italy, Spain or France.
“On behalf of the Federal Council, I appeal to your responsibility: stay home if you are over 65 or sick. Stay away from others. This is how you can help yourselves and the rest,” the president said today. Swiss, Simonetta Sommaruga, in a letter addressed to all citizens.
“When the situation requires it, we are much more than 26 cantons and 8.5 million inhabitants: we are one country, and we are there for each other,” he added.