hundreds of European tourists evacuated from Bolivia and Nicaragua

Street cleaning operation in the city of Santa Cruz in Bolivia due to the coronavirus epidemic on March 26.
Street cleaning operation in the city of Santa Cruz in Bolivia due to the coronavirus epidemic on March 26. RODRIGO URZAGASTI / REUTERS

Several hundred European tourists have been evacuated over the past twenty-four hours from Bolivia and Nicaragua on special flights due to the pandemic of new coronavirus, diplomatic and government sources said.

On Saturday March 28, a group of 400 European nationals left the Bolivian airport of Santa Cruz for Paris, on a charter flight chartered by the European Union (EU). It was mainly made up of French according to the French Embassy, ​​but also of Spaniards, Belgians, Dutch, Poles and British.

"A coordinated operation between @MRE_Bolivia (Ministry of Foreign Affairs), the #France Embassy and the EU allow European citizens of 21 nationalities to return to the Old Continent to find their families ", tweeted the EU office in Bolivia. Some 76 cases of coronavirus have been recorded in this South American country, which at this stage has no deaths.

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Strict health protocols before boarding

All Europeans were subject to strict health protocols before boarding the plane. “We were able to get flights out with 400 Germans. Today, an American robbery "said Bolivian interior minister Arturo Murillo at a press conference. In Central America, about 250 European tourists stranded in Nicaragua were evacuated to Germany on Saturday on a special flight chartered by Berlin with EU support. Tourists, half of them Germans, "Were stranded in Nicaragua due to the interruption of commercial air traffic worldwide"said the German Embassy in a statement. They left Managua aboard a flight chartered by the German airline Condor, which plans a second and last flight on April 2 with Europeans wishing to leave the country, according to the same source who underlined:

"The German Embassy encourages all German tourists to take this opportunity. "

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The US Embassy has urged its nationals to take advantage of the few flights that will leave Nicaragua in the coming days to return.

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