Israel sends El Al flight to return Israeli backpackers stranded in Peru due to the coronavirus

BREAKING: An El Al flight is headed right now to Lima to retrieve around 1,000 Israeli backpackers stranded after Peru announced the closing of its borders.

Peru has prevented some 600 Israeli backpackers from leaving the city of Cusco to head to the country’s capital of Lima so they board El Al planes back to Israel. The city is under closure, the airport is closed and no one, including foreign nationals, are allowed to leave.

Some of the Israelis stranded in Cusco have already taken rooms in local hotels and are afraid to leave them for fear they will not be able to return.

Foreign Affairs Minister Yisrael Katz announced Tuesday that he had enlisted the cooperation of El Al and agreed that a fist plane would be sent for the travelers on Thursday morning.

Katz said that financing was being organized for a second flight.

The decision was in keeping with the country’s commitment to the principle of mutual responsibility under which the State of Israel operates in a time of national emergency, Minister Katz said and expressed his gratitude to El Al for their contribution to the effort.