Coronavirus: Backpacker home after 35 days in Peru lockdown

  • Published
Chris RamsayImage source, Chris Ramsay
Image caption,
Chris Ramsay arrived in London on Monday afternoon and is now self-isolating at his parents' home in Salisbury

A backpacker who spent five weeks in lockdown after becoming stranded in Peru says it feels "surreal" to have finally returned home.

Chris Ramsay, 29, arrived at London's Heathrow Airport on Monday after flying back to the UK, via Frankfurt.

He had been unable to take a scheduled flight home on 19 March when Peru's borders were shut and a positive test for coronavirus caused more delays.

Mr Ramsay is now self-isolating at his parents' home in Salisbury.

"It's a weird environment," he said, having left the UK in November for Mozambique, before moving on to South America.

"Towards the end of February we started hearing about it but South America had a low number of cases in comparison to some, so it didn't seem a bad place to be."

Image source, Chris Ramsay
Image caption,
Chris had been planning to continue his travels and head to Canada

After his scheduled flight was cancelled, he managed to get a seat on a planned "military" flight to the capital Lima, from where he could get a plane to Heathrow, but this was also cancelled.

Finally, after getting the medical all-clear, Mr Ramsay travelled from Cusco to Lima and secured a seat on a German repatriation flight to Frankfurt.

"I then booked a one-way ticket to London for £360. Safety measures were in place with the middle seats all left empty but when I landed at Heathrow there were no medical checks at all which seemed odd," he said.

He said that he never suffered any symptoms despite testing positive for coronavirus, but the outbreak had made it a "very uncertain time".

"It's surreal. I feel like I'm back to square one as after quarantine I'll have to try to find work which won't be easy at this time," Mr Ramsay added.