Coronavirus Pandemic: Bay Area family stuck in Peru after government closes border

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- In an attempt to stop the spread of COVID-19, the Peruvian government closed its borders on March 15. Now, hundreds of American tourist are stranded.

Two days into their family vacation, the Sinigiani family woke up to frightening news.

"My wife woke up at 4, 5 a.m. on morning on Monday morning and had that jump panic out of the bed and said, 'Oh my God, the Peruvian government closed the borders, we got to get out'," said Brian Sinigiani.

Exactly a week ago today, Peru's President declared a state of emergency, mandating a 15-day quarantine and a closure of its border. Tourist were given 24 hours to evacuate.

"We went down to the Cusco airport. The airport had been surrounded by the Peruvian military and they were stopping everyone form coming into the airport," said Sinigiani

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The Sinigiani family is not alone.

There's a Facebook group with over 3,000 members who say they are also Americans stuck in Peru.

California Congressman Jared Huffman says at least 30 of his constituents, including the Sinigiani family are stranded overseas.

"They are really not, and that's part of our frustration. The state department is giving useless advice. Telling people to search the private airlines flight and flights are getting canceled," Huffman said.

Today the first words from President Donald Trump during a press conference were directed to this group of Americans.

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"We're working very hard on getting a young group of people out of Peru. We've removed some and the rest are being removed with the cooperation of the Peruvian Government," said President Trump.

Words that the Siniagini family are holding on to, while looking at this map of confirmed COVID-19 cases increase every day in Peru. The latest count- 363.

"Every day I've woken up with the hope of today is going to be day, the day that this going to happen," said a hopeful Siniagini.

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