US tourists stranded abroad desperate to secure return

Linda Scruggs, Mike Rustici
Posted at 4:34 AM, Mar 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-22 04:34:16-04

Tourists trapped away from their home countries because of the coronavirus and the plight of a Tennessee couple illustrates the desperation they are facing.

Linda Scruggs and Mike Rustici trained months to hike to Peru's Machu Pinchu Inca ruins and arrived in Peru this month.

Virus Outbreak Stranded Americans
In a photo provided by Linda Scruggs and Mike Rustici, Linda Scruggs and Mike Rustici pose for a photo at salt mines outside Sacred Valley on March 15, 2020, in Peru, just before the Peruvian president announced the country was going under lockdown. The two are trapped in a Lima hotel room and do not know when they will make it back to the U.S. The couple, like thousands around the world, are trapped as nations closed their borders to try to stop the spread of the new coronavirus. (Linda Scruggs and Mike Rustici via AP)

Days after they landed, Peru's borders were closed. Scruggs and Rustici were stuck in a hotel for days and say they received little help from the U.S. Embassy in Lima.

The couple were eventually able to get on a LATAM Airlines flight that landed Saturday evening in Miami.

They said they felt relieved but also guilty because many other travelers are still stuck.