Hundreds of tourists evacuated from Bali as coronavirus outbreak halts flights

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Hundreds of European tourists stranded in Bali were evacuated from the Indonesian holiday island on Saturday after their flights were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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British authorities booked seats on two commercial flights to London for hundreds of citizens, while Germany has chartered six flights from Denpasar to Frankfurt since Friday.

“I am happy to go home. Altogether they cancelled two flights of mine so yeah I’d waited for two weeks,” said Marco Zeltner, one of several thousand German tourists estimated to be stuck in Indonesia.

“It’s okay, Bali is a nice place to stay, so it could have be worse,” he added.

France also organized flights to Paris for hundreds of its citizens. The first one departed Friday while the second was due to leave with about 400 passengers on Saturday.

French authorities said they would organize at least one more charter flight next week.

About 2,000 French tourists had been stranded in Indonesia, said Dominique Roubert, a spokesman for the French embassy.

The virus has upended travel around the world with many countries closing their borders and banning transit at their airports while airlines cancel flights.

Indonesia has declared 1,155 confirmed infections with 102 death, making it the country with the highest fatality rate in Southeast Asia.

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