Watch CBSN Live

Americans stranded abroad amid coronavirus pandemic

Americans stranded amid coronavirus pandemic
Americans stranded amid coronavirus pandemic 02:20

New Jersey — The coronavirus pandemic has exploded to more than 250,000 cases worldwide, with more than 11,000 deaths. Thousands of Americans want to get back to the U.S. but can't due to travel restrictions enacted to fight the outbreak. The State Department said it is scrambling to get some U.S. citizens home.

Some of the thousands of Americans stranded in Morocco were on their way home on Friday. CBS News spoke to two of them before they left.

"There wasn't any warning! For us, there was about 48 hours, in other countries we heard there was only 24 hours. It was a shock that this could go into place so quickly," Lauren Davenport, of Florida, said via Skype.

Last night, the U.S. Embassy in Morocco said on Twitter that anyone wanting to leave could get a seat on a charter flight connecting through London for $1,485. In some cases, that's twice what their original ticket cost.

Airport Coronavirus Morocco
Thousands of Americans want to get back to the U.S. but can't. CBS News

El Barchidi said his family of three can't afford it. "It is ridiculously expensive. For three people, we're going to be talking about three-thousand-ish," he said via Skype.

In Peru, seven students from Augusta University are among more than a thousand trying to figure out how to get home.

"Eight o'clock on Sunday, the president came on and announced that we had 24 hours to leave Peru before they would close the borders,"

But there were no flights available. They're hoping to get word from the U.S. State Department on what to do now.

"We are trying to get people back. When people can get back on their own, we urge them to do that," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.

Davenport summed up the feelings of thousands. "We're in a worldwide pandemic. Everyone wants to be home with their loved ones."

President Trump said on Friday that he thinks the U.S. military will be called upon to help get Americans home from Peru.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.