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Coronavirus crisis: Perth fashion designer Jonte Morgan escapes border closures in Peru after COVID-19 pandemic fear sweeps South America

Coronavirus crisis: Perth fashion designer Jonte Morgan escapes border closures in Peru after COVID-19 pandemic fear sweeps South America

Perth fashion designer Jonte Morgan has just returned from a nightmare travel ordeal that nearly saw her trapped in Peru.Morgan — whose designs have been worn by the likes of Janet Jackson and Sophie Monk — embarked on a magical trip to the famed Machu Picchu with a friend at the start of March, before any travel alerts for the region were put in place by international governments.

“We had nine uninterrupted days of holiday bubble in Peru,,” Morgan told AAA.

“But pretty much within a 24 hour period, we had just arrived back from Machu Picchu…we had actually received a message from a friend... in Lima and he said that he just saw the President on TV and that the borders were closing, so we were thrown into a whirlwind.”

Morgan frantically began looking for information of the Peruvian borders closing on Smart Traveller with no luck, then began speaking to travel agents and the reception desk at their hotel at the base of world heritage site.

“Then we found out we had 24 hours to get out of Peru, or we were in lockdown for 15 days,” she said.

Designer Jonte Morgan dressed Janet Jackson when she came to Perth.

Thus began a gruelling, 65 hour long commute home to WA that saw the pair hopping on and off any plane they could to avoid getting trapped overseas with no support.

“We did feel safe there, but the main concern for me was the anxiety of the unknown, being in uncharted waters,” Morgan said.

“We pretty much had borders closing behind us, we managed to get out of Cusco (the closest city to Machu Picchu), that was quiet scary because there were so many people who had just rocked up at the airport who are trying to get flights... we were the only flight that left that morning.”

The pair flew from Peru to Bolivia, only to discover that Bolivia’s borders were closing, so they jumped on a flight to Brazil.

“We were potentially looking at trying to get back to Chile to try and fly from Santiago to Sydney, but then those borders closed, then we went from Brazil to South Africa,” the fashion designer explained.

The pair were able to board one of the last flights out of Johannesburg arriving in Perth, and their trip home saw them commute between five countries, take five flights and cost them $6,400 AUD.