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American college rugby players were among those stranded in Peru after the government declared a state of emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic that has now spread into South America.
Salisbury University’s women’s club rugby team had traveled to Peru for spring break and at least four players had booked flights out of the country before international flights out were halted, the Asbury Park Press reported.
“We’re dealing with it on a day-to-day basis,” Kirby Given told the Asbury Park Press. “The uncertainty part is something I don’t keep in the forefront of my head because that panic and anxiety is not going to be beneficial to anybody. I hope for the best, and we’ve been proactive every day.”
Given and six other rugby players in the group have contacted lawmakers and enrolled in STEP – the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, which connects travelers with the U.S. Embassy in various countries. Given said now it’s just a waiting game.
“At this point, they keep saying wait for more information, register for the STEP program, but we have, and we’re waiting,” she told the newspaper. “It’s overwhelming with all the information we’re receiving. It’s very repetitive and circular.”
On Sunday, the U.S. Embassy in Lima issued a statement on the situation for stranded travelers.
“The U.S. Embassy in Lima is operating and is coordinating closely with the Peruvian Government on all options for U.S. citizens to depart the country and are arranging charter aircraft,” officials said. “To date, approximately 500 American tourists departed Peru this weekend and included some of the most urgent medical cases. The U.S. Embassy will continue messaging as additional flight plans are finalized.”