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Arizonans struggle to return home as travel restrictions increase

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TUCSON - Joya Schmidt was in Peru on vacation with her husband and nine year old son when travel restrictions hit the country due to COVID-19.

Luckily for them, she and her family were able to get out of the country safely, but when she left, there was still a thousand Americans stuck in Peru.

"I was worried Tuesday morning and that's when Henry, my 9-year-old had a meltdown. I mean he was just, he just wanted to go home," said Joya Schmidt.

With their trip cut short, the Schmidt's had to pay $2,000 upfront just to get a place to stay during Peru's 15-day quarantine.

Those who couldn't afford to pay 15 days upfront were stuck at the airport, with no place to go.

"This is a crisis, and I'm tired and also there's 30 minutes remaining until I can get on the plane bye," said Henry Schmidt, while waiting for his plane.

When Peru announced the border closures, they gave tourists 24 hours to leave.

With as many as 1,500 Americans in the country at the time, those stuck in Peru created a Facebook page to share information and ask each other questions on how they are getting home.

"They're worried about how they're going to get to an airport. There are concerns that people aren't in safe situations, there's concerns about food running out," said Joya Schmidt.

The Schmidts were able to get home on a flight through the U.S. embassy, who are flying out 250 people a day as of Monday.

Now, safely back at home the Schmidt's are planning their own 15-day home quarantine at home to make sure they don't have any symptoms of COVID-19.

If you still have travel plans, make sure to check with your airline ahead of time to see if the flight has been canceled.