The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has issued an update on the repatriation of Irish citizens who are stranded abroad after flights were grounded due to Covid-19 pandemic.

Dozens of Irish people are trying to leave Peru and the DFA said: "Following a call between An Tánaiste and the Peruvian Foreign Minister, diplomatic clearance has been given for a repatriation flight now scheduled for Sunday.

"Our Embassy in Santiago is in contact with our citizens on the ground in Peru keeping them informed.

"A large amount of effort is also going into arrangements for the internal transport of our citizens, especially from Cusco to Lima. That remains a very challenging situation and we are doing everything that we can in order for this to take place as planned over the next couple of days."

Up to a dozen Irish citizens are on board a cruise liner, the MS Zaandam, which is being refused entry to Panama after four passengers died from coronavirus and more than 140 others contracted the virus.

The DFA said it is in regular contact with these Irish passengers.

"The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is aware of the situation of the MS Zaandam, which is currently off the coast of Panama and expected to dock in the United States. We are in regular contact with all of the Irish citizens on board and are providing all possible consular assistance."

.@dfatirl has secured seats for those seeking to return from 🇦🇺 to 🇮🇪 Please contact @HannonTravel directly ASAP to secure your flight and spread the word. We will continue to work with airlines on options for travel @dfatravelwise

— Irish Consulate Sydney (@IrelandSydney) March 27, 2020

The DFA also tweeted an update to the situation in Australia for Irish people looking to return home. Hannon Travel in Co Meath has secured a flight back to Dublin.

The Irish Consulate in Sydney is keeping Irish people updated with the latest travel advice on its Twitter feed.

Tánaiste Simon Coveney has asked Irish citizens in Canada on short-term visas, who are thinking about coming home, to make arrangements to leave "as soon as possible".

He said flight times are "limited and narrowing". Follow @IrlEmbCanada on Twitter for the latest advice.

Irish people in the US were warned to return home as soon as possible on March 20.

Daniel Mulhall, Irish ambassador to the States, warned: "Don't leave it too late to return."

My advice to Irish visitors to the USA 🇺🇸 remains unchanged. You should plan to return to Ireland 🇮🇪 as soon as possible. Don't leave it too late to return. Make your arrangements now.

— Daniel Mulhall (@DanMulhall) March 27, 2020

Irish citizens looking for assistance abroad should contact the Department of Foreign Affairs Covid-19 phone line on +353 1613 1733 or online.