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Travel ban leaves Tampa Bay area residents stranded, with no word on when they can come home

Posted at 4:08 PM, Mar 18, 2020

TAMPA, Fla. -- Several Tampa Bay area residents are stranded overseas with thousands of other Americans due to the coronavirus outbreak.

"They are kicking people out on the streets," said Jenna Saulo. "We took in a lady with a Wheelchair."

Saulo is in Peru with her sister.

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"There are people that have slept outside of the embassy," said Daniel Fernandez.

Fernandez and his girlfriend Lauren Davenport are in Morocco.

They are all of the Tampa Bay area, miles a part, but with the same story. Just three of thousands of Americans stranded overseas due to the the COVID-19 travel ban.

"There are people here who are in trouble," said Fernandez.

According to them, hotels in both Peru and Morocco are shutting down and kicking people out.

They say a lot of Americans have run out of money.

"We have a mother here who is pregnant and due any day. She has no way back home," said Fernandez.

Getting food is also a big challenge. Saulo said she stood in line for nearly three hours to get into the market in Peru. She said they are scanning them for a fever, and "they're only letting 30 people in at a time."

The Peruvian president has also order that all taxi service stops at 8 p.m.

"It's going to get worse," she said.

Saulo has a four-year-old that she's trying to get home to.

"They said, 'Too bad. She will have to wait,'" she said.

They claim the U.S. Embassy have been no help. There are signs up telling people to go to the embassy's web site. According to the Embassy, people will have to register with the "step" program.

A spokesperson told me, over the phone, they will reach out to Americans when there is a plan to get them home. This is the link to the web site: https://ma.usembassy.gov.

"How long will that take?" said Davenport.

ABC Action News also reached out to Democratic Congressman Charlie Christ. His office has gotten involved, and we're told they are checking with the Embassy to see how to get Bay area residents home.