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HKSAR government announces arrangement to take Hong Kong residents stranded in Peru back home by chartered flight
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     A Government spokesman announced today (March 31) that to assist the Hong Kong residents stranded in Peru to leave the country smoothly, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government will arrange a chartered flight to fly them from Lima to London, followed by a connecting flight with secured flight bookings back to Hong Kong. The cost will be borne by the users. Peru has declared a state of emergency and imposed strict restrictions on all land and air traffic. At present, the Hong Kong residents still in Peru cannot depart there through normal flight arrangement.

     After receiving requests for assistance from the Hong Kong residents affected, the Security Bureau and the Immigration Department (ImmD) have been liaising with the Chinese Embassy in the Republic of Peru (Chinese Embassy in Peru) and several airlines to make every effort to secure flight bookings or arrange a flight for the return of the stranded Hong Kong residents. The chartered flight arranged by the HKSAR Government is tentatively scheduled to depart from Lima for London on April 3, Peru time. Passengers concerned will then take a connecting flight with secured flight bookings back to Hong Kong.

     Among the Hong Kong residents there, some are in different places in Peru. They would have to take domestic flights or other land transports to go to Lima to facilitate arrangement of their departure collectively by an international flight from Lima out of Peru. In this regard, the HKSAR Government is actively following up with the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China in the HKSAR and the Chinese Embassy in Peru, including assisting in arranging a chartered flight to take the some 30 Hong Kong residents in Cusco to Lima. Those in other locations will be assisted by local travel agencies or transportation companies to make arrangement for them to arrive at Lima Airport before noon on April 3 to catch the chartered flight for departing Peru.

     The HKSAR Government appeals to the Hong Kong residents in Peru who have yet to contact the Assistance to Hong Kong Residents Unit (AHU) of the ImmD but wish to take the chartered flight to fly out of Peru to London and then return to Hong Kong, to call ImmD's 24-hour hotline (852) 1868 or email to [email protected] for assistance by March 31, Peru time (i.e.1pm on April 1, Hong Kong time). AHU officers will follow up according to actual circumstances.

     The spokesman pointed out that the HKSAR Government currently can only arrange the above-mentioned chartered flight to fly Hong Kong residents out of Peru, urging those who are still in Peru but plan to return to Hong Kong to contact AHU through the above-mentioned channels as early as possible.

     For the Hong Kong residents in Peru who have already contacted AHU for assistance, they need not call the hotline or email again. AHU officers will proactively contact them by phone to notify them of the detailed chartered flight arrangement.

     According to legal requirements, all persons who have been to an overseas country / territory within 14 days before arriving in Hong Kong must undergo 14 days of compulsory quarantine.

     According to the World Health Organization's guidelines, airlines will refuse to board passengers with symptoms of illness.

     As at noon today, the ImmD has received a total of 91 assistance requests from Hong Kong residents stranded in Peru, including more than 30 group tour members. Nine of those who sought assistance have left Peru already through other arrangements. One of the Hong Kong residents passed away earlier from COVID-19 infection. Three Hong Kong residents who are close contacts of the deceased have to stay in Peru for quarantine and taking COVID-19 virus test.

     Meanwhile, the HKSAR Government continues to closely follow up on Hong Kong residents stranded in Morocco. The ImmD received assistance requests from 152 Hong Kong residents concerning the home passage from Morocco. To assist the Hong Kong residents to return to Hong Kong, the HKSAR Government has been taking actions on multiple fronts, including actively liaising with several airlines to secure flight bookings for the affected Hong Kong residents to leave Morocco via other places.

     As at noon today, 113 people have either already returned to Hong Kong by different flights, or have secured return arrangements. For the 39 Hong Kong residents remaining in Morocco, they are mainly in the cities of Casablanca and Marrakesh. The HKSAR Government is actively following up with the Chinese Embassy in the Kingdom of Morocco and a number of airlines to make every effort to secure flight bookings or arrange a flight for the return of the stranded Hong Kong residents. It will notify the Hong Kong residents concerned of the latest information at the earliest possible.
 
Ends/Tuesday, March 31, 2020
Issued at HKT 23:45
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