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No way out for Asians stranded in South America

Visitors trapped by COVID-19 quarantine rules lose hope of early return

Travelers hoping to enter Peru sit stranded on a bridge in the Bolivian border town of Desaguadero on March 17 after the Peruvian government announced it was closing the border in a bid to slow the spread of the coronavirus.   © Reuters

AREQUIPA, Peru -- Sota Kidokoro, 22, is one of tens of thousands of Asian tourists whose dream holidays in South America have suddenly turned sour, subjecting them to strict COVID-19 quarantine rules that feel like forced imprisonment.

"Unfortunately, the Japanese Embassy didn't send me any information on charter flights or special buses to [Argentina's capital] Buenos Aires," Kidokoro said, speaking by phone from the Argentine town of Esquel, where he has been stuck for the best part of a month.

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