More than 300 Australians stranded in Peru have asked the federal government to help them leave the country after a military-enforced lockdown has halted all outbound commercial flights.
Among those is Canberra resident, Renzo Demartini who travelled to Peru earlier this month for a christening and wedding.
"I travelled as I was asked to be the godfather of my wife's niece and for her friends wedding which had to be cancelled," he said.
"I followed Smart Traveller's advice, which was only 'exercise a high degree of caution' but this has been in place for many years on this side of the world."
The South American country imposed a 15-day lockdown, which came into place on Monday March 16 at 11:59pm. Those in the country were given just over 24 hours notice.
What followed in that period has been described as "like a scene out of an apocalyptic movie" in an online petition set up by a group of more than 300 Australians trapped in the country.
"We didn't have enough time to change our flights or try to get new ones as everyone tried to leave within 24 hours," Mr Demartini said.
Mr Demartini said he and his wife had booked two flights, one on March 20 and another on April 1 but both had been cancelled.
He said they have secured two seats on a repatriation charter flight, by travel company Chimu Adventures, which cost $10,200 for two tickets but the departure date for that flight has yet to be confirmed.
Chimu Adventures said it hoped for a March 26 or 27 departure, which is Thursday or Friday this week. The company is in discussions with authorities but is waiting from approval from the Peruvian government.
"This is obviously a massive financial burden but we are not taking any chances." Mr Demartini said.
"It has come at a great cost to many of us and considering how things are going back home... I hope it doesn't cause too much financial stress in the long term."
The group of Australians has asked the Department of Foreign Affairs to endorse the charter plane and to also help cover some of the costs, or give people an option to pay for the flights when they arrive home.
The group has pointed to the United Kingdom, which has organised repatriation flight costing £250 (about $490 AUD).
Mr Demartini expressed disappointment at the response from the Australian government so far.
"DFAT and the consular in Lima have been very quiet regarding our situation," he said.
"We've only received generic responses and haven't quite received the support that other countries such as Israel, UK, Argentina have received.
"All we ask is for the government to provide timely support and to help us get out of here. Most, if not all, don't expect free repatriation, we should want to go home by any means."
The Australian embassy in Peru is closed to visitors due to the lockdown, and Australian ambassador to Peru Diana Nelson has used social media to communicate messages.
In a video posted to Twitter, Ms Nelson said the government in Canberra was "working around the clock" to help residents get home.
"Here in Peru, our dedicated embassy team are liasing closely with Peruvian authorities, other embassies, airlines and travel companies," she said.
"We will keep you updated of any developments as soon as we can via social media platforms and we asked you to subscribe to Smart Traveller.
"I ask for your patience as we work through these issues, I look forward to staying in touch with you and I reiterate our commitment to keep as closely informed of developments as we work very hard to bring you home."
Mr Demartini is originally from Peru and described the situation in the capital, Lima, as "eerie".
"The lockdown is nothing like I have ever seen before, having lived in Lima for 17 years," he said.
"Streets are empty after 8pm. We live near an armed forces base and we constantly see police and armed forces patrolling the streets making sure that people are in their residences."
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