Canada will send three planes to Peru to repatriate citizens left stranded abroad by the novel coronavirus pandemic, the country’s foreign affairs minister says.
In a tweet on Monday, François-Philippe Champagne said the government has secured authorization to operate three flights “this week.”
Speaking to reporters on Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said there will also be another two flights to repatriate citizens from Morocco in “in the coming days.”
He said officials are working to coordinate an Air Canada flight to Spain.
Trudeau said there will also be two Air Transat flights from Honduras, and one each from Ecuador, El Salvador and Guatemala.
On Saturday, Trudeau announced the government was working with commercial airlines to co-ordinate flights to repatriate Canadians.
“We will also be working with other countries to ensure that our airlines have the permissions and other supports necessary to fly,” Trudeau said.
The first of those flights, from Morocco, landed in Montreal on Saturday.
Trudeau said the government was looking to help as many citizens as it can but that it would not be possible to reach all of those seeking assistance.
In order to help Canadians abroad, the federal government has also made available loans totalling $5,000 per person, which can be used for flights and accommodations.
READ MORE: Coronavirus — Champagne says efforts to repatriate Canadians ‘on a scale we’ve never seen’
At a press conference on Saturday, Champagne said officials had been in touch with “hundreds of thousands” of Canadians abroad and that they were working “around the clock” to help.
Speaking to Mike Le Couteur on Global News’ The West Block, Champagne said the operation is “on a scale that we’ve never seen before.”
Trudeau is expected to provide an update on Canada’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic at 11:15 a.m. ET on Monday.
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