A Pāpāmoa Beach couple stuck in their hotel in Peru's capital since mid-March say they are "so relieved" to hear a special charter flight is being organised to bring them home.
Jackie Stewart, 76, and her husband Neil, 78, have been confined to their Costa del Sol Hotel room opposite Lima Airport since arriving in Lima on March 16.
The Stewarts flew from New Zealand to Peru on March 3 and have been stuck in their hotel room "under curfew and subject to martial law" ever since.
They were due to fly to Colombia the next day, but the Colombian border was closed overnight due to the Covid-19 lockdown.
A Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesperson said exact departure times were still to be determined.
"We are working with Peruvian authorities to obtain the appropriate clearances for departure from Lima, as they will be making a short stopover in Santiago, Chile."
Once confirmed, the departure times will be provided to those who have registered, the Ministry spokesperson said.
Last week the Stewarts emailed Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern making a desperate plea for the New Zealand Government to come to their rescue and organise a special charter flight for them and the other Kiwis stranded in Peru.
"Being left here with no meaningful support is unacceptable. We are absolutely in need of some help from our government," the couple pleaded with Ardern in the email.
The Stewarts said they "did not have a bottomless pit of money" and were paying hotel rates for their room and food.
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With only three guests in their "very large international hotel", they feared it could close at any time and, if asked to leave, they had no idea where they would go, they said.
Their email was also sent to Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters, the Under-Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade Fletcher Tabuteau and Bay of Plenty National MP Todd Muller.
Muller said he raised the Stewarts' plight directly with the Government via Tabuteau and with staff at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
"Their situation is intolerable. I appreciate there are many New Zealanders desperate to get home, but the Stewarts from Pāpāmoa need to be in front of the queue, in my opinion."
On Monday, Peters confirmed the New Zealand Government had stepped in to help organise a special charter flight to get New Zealanders home.
Peters said travellers in Peru had faced an extraordinarily difficult task to get home, with no commercial flights and no transit options.
"This has been an incredibly complex operation and officials based at the New Zealand Embassy in Santiago and our team in Wellington have been working around the clock to make it happen," he said.
"We appreciate the constructive engagement we have had thus far with the Peruvian government and look forward to working with them over the coming days to bring our people home.
"We are also grateful to the Chilean authorities for allowing the flight to make the necessary transit through Santiago."
Peters said the flight would depart from Lima, with an added domestic connection from Cusco, in Peru, and private tour operators would assist with ground transportation.
The Stewarts told the Bay of Plenty Times via email they were "so relieved" to hear their plea had been answered.
"If anyone thinks they understand the stress and anxiety of being abandoned in a foreign country with no hope of rescue because all fights to New Zealand were ceased, they are not being realistic," the Stewarts said.
"We are so glad to hear we will be going home and can't wait," they said.
Kiwis in Peru registered on SafeTravel are being emailed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade about how to register interest in the charter flight and the Stewarts confirmed they had done so.
Neil Stewart's younger sister, Lynne, who lives in Greerton said she bore no animosity towards the Government for any perceived delay in organising the charter flight.
"We understand it's a very complex situation, especially knowing how far it is from Lima to Chile and the numbers of people stranded in Peru and other parts of the world.
"It's just a huge relief to know that the New Zealand Government is doing something to help and our prayers have finally been answered," she said.
"Clearly, it's going to take some time to finalise all the arrangements and obviously it can't happen overnight, but we just want Neil and Jackie home," she said.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it is continuing to provide support for the 22,000 New Zealanders registered as being overseas on Safe Travel.