Coronavirus: Islanders marooned in locked-down Tenerife hotel
THREE Islanders in the locked-down Tenerife hotel have spoken of their worry and frustration caused by a lack of information about the unfolding coronavirus situation.
The spread of the disease reached the Canary Islands this week, and also sparked concern in Guernsey yesterday as the number of people tested trebled in one day.
Sally Batho, Sheila Ruane and Sue Clement-Jones, who all live in St Brelade, were confined to their rooms at the H10 Costa Adeje Palace Hotel on Tuesday after an Italian guest tested positive for the virus.
The trio were permitted to go outside into the hotel grounds yesterday, but criticised the lack of information being provided to guests.
‘There has been no point of communication, no one we can go to with questions,’ said Mrs Ruane. ‘If people are able to do that, then it probably means they keep a little calmer – we just need a person we can speak to every day.’
Hotel guests were visited by medics on Tuesday evening to have their temperatures taken and provided with thermometers so that they could repeat the exercise twice daily.
‘We don’t know how long we’ll be kept here and whether we’ll need to be in quarantine once we leave – we feel a bit marooned,’ said Mrs Batho, who had been due to finish the two-week holiday and fly home with her two friends this weekend.
‘It’s been a bit hit and miss, but we have been given basic “picnic” food and we have now been allowed out of our rooms at our own risk,’ she added.
Mrs Batho said the trio, who she believes are the only Islanders at the Costa Adeje Palace, had enjoyed a relaxing first week of their holiday before being affected by last weekend’s sandstorm across the Canaries. The sandstorm has passed by Monday, prior to the coronavirus alert the following morning.
‘It’s a lovely hotel and the staff have been superb – it’s been very difficult for them, as they are understaffed because some staff can’t get out and others can’t get in, but everyone is doing their best.’
Hundreds of Islanders are currently on holiday in Tenerife, a mixture of those who, like Mrs Batho, Mrs Ruane and Mrs Clement-Jones, travelled by air via the UK, and others who used direct flights from Jersey. Local holiday firm CI Travel Group said this week that it had around 200 clients from Jersey and Guernsey in Tenerife at present – none of those on package trips are staying at the Costa Adeje Palace, but the total also includes holidaymakers who booked ‘flight-only’ trips and made their own hotel arrangements.
Robert Mackenzie of CI Travel said that the company still intended to run the weekly direct flight to Tenerife for the remainder of the winter season, saying that advice from the UK Foreign Office was unchanged, in that it was safe to travel to the Canary Islands.
A spokeswoman for the Health Department said a medical specialist was seeking to make contact with people from Jersey who were staying at the Costa Adeje Palace.
A plane carrying 137 passengers returned to Jersey from Tenerife on Sunday. The Health Department has recommended that anyone returning to Jersey since last Sunday who had stayed at the affected hotel should self-isolate for 14 days, whether or not they were showing any symptoms.
The spokeswoman added: ‘This is consistent with the self-isolation being implemented in the hotel itself and is the same advice for any traveller returning home from the list of countries particularly affected by coronavirus (ie mainland China, South Korea, Iran) and the 11 northern Italian towns that are in lockdown that require well travellers to self-isolate.
‘Any Islander returning from any countries on a wider list of specified areas who develops a fever, cough or difficulty in breathing should phone the coronavirus helpline on 445566 or contact their GP by phone.
‘Anyone who becomes very unwell while self-isolating should call an ambulance on 999 and explain their travel history. If admission is needed the hospital has a number of isolation rooms where such patients could be treated.’
More information is available via the gov.je/coronavirus webpage.
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