Thousands of Scots are stranded abroad, with many saying they are receiving no help from the Foreign Office. Embassies are closed, phone lines shut, and tensions between tourists and locals in some countries have begun escalating. 

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Peter Lowrie, 64, is stranded in Cusco, Peru, with his wife.

The couple, from Stirling, travelled to Lima, the capital of the South American country, on March 7, and had intended to return on March 24, but a week into their trip they discovered the flight had been cancelled.

Despite being ordered to return to Britain on March 16, the couple have been unable to secure any form of transport out of the country, which is facing a rising number of coronavirus cases and tensions are flaring between locals, police and foreigners.

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Now the couple and hundreds of other British tourists are being forced to stay in hotels or hostels in sweltering heat, and are coming under increasing threats from locals as well as law enforcement.

Peter explained that commercial flights were charging as much as $3500 one way for economy class seats out of Peru, with many stranded tourists unable to afford the fare.

He said: "There was general horror about the price suggested as most of the people here are student backpackers and it was suggested by the government as a viable solution.

"I then looked at chartering a plane and found one at £1600 a seat. A lot of people were interested but the issue was that we had to pay the whole cost up front. We tried to establish whether or not the government would lend us the money and everyone would pay to be repatriated when we got back. They didn’t agree."

A further blunder came when the FCO told Peter and his wife they had secured a place on a plane from Lima on Friday, and would be collected early in the morning by minibus.

The bus never came, and the pair made their own way to the airport only to discover there had been a "mix-up" by FCO officials about where they had been staying.

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Along with the logistical nightmare, Peter said there have been incidents of abuse from locals towards him and his wife, but also towards other stranded tourists.

In one case, Peter said a group of 11 tourists had their hostel raided by armed officials, and were arrested by police who claimed they had broken curfew.

They were then released and told if they did not stay inside they may be locked in prison.

He said: "We have been confined to our room pretty much all the time although allowed out to get food water or medicine. There is a large armed police and army presence on the streets which is menacing.

"We haven’t been challenged although many tourists have. We have had abuse in the street from locals saying 'Don't bring your virus here, gringos' and 'F- off back to where you came from'

"It has been a rollercoaster of emotions with Foreign Office highs and lows and silences together with the Peruvian president. It would have been much more bearable if the FCO could have given daily briefings even if there was no news to report. Also more information and fine details would be helpful when they gave reports.

"It is difficult watching all the other nationals leaving to go home and we wonder why the UK government couldn’t have done something sooner. The Israelis left on day three, and it’s now day 10 of lockdown.

"We just want to get home."