22 Jul, 2021 @ 15:27
3 mins read

From beach paradise to holiday hell:  What happens when you test positive for COVID before you fly home from Spain

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“WE feel like prisoners,” says 22-year-old Gabriella Fernandez, adding: “We decided to come out here and we knew the risks but nobody told us how bad the conditions would be. A prisoner would have been fed better and have received better communication. It’s a joke.” 

She is one of the Brits to have been locked up at a ‘COVID-19 hotel’ in Mallorca after her friend Georgia Suggett tested positive for coronavirus. 

The pair flew to Mallorca two weeks ago for a four-day holiday when the islands were on the UK Government’s green list.

But their dream holiday soon became a nightmare when Georgia’s test came back positive just days before the pals were set to return to the UK. 

Gabriella, who has been documenting her experience on TikTok, said: “We were so excited to be finally getting away to recharge and feel slightly normal again. We were living our best life, having some time in the sun and the accommodation was so quiet. We ate so much gorgeous food and were enjoying beach days. We had the best location to watch the England match and the most gorgeous rooftop view. Then the day before we flew home we did a lateral flow per and unfortunately one of us tested positive.” 

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From Gabriella’s TikTok

The girls, both from Middlesbrough, then had to return to their hotel for eight hours and wait to be transported by ambulance to the four-star Palma Bellver hotel. 

Gabriella said: “Our day changed immediately and we were put in a COVID hotel and were fed the most disgusting food. Ten days of eating the bare minimum. We feel like prisoners.” 

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Last month the Palma Bellver hotel hit the headlines after a COVID outbreak among Spanish students saw pupils locked up in a hotel with 24-hour surveillance – despite many testing negative for the virus. 

Students protested from their balconies and expressing their frustration on social media using the hashtag #secuestrogobiernobalear – which means Balearic government kidnapping.

“I’m trying to raise awareness,” Gabrielle said. “COVID is going to be here for a while so that means COVID hotels will be too. I just want to help others so they are not as scared and confused as we have been. Hopefully, things will become a lot smoother. 

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“When you get there and no one tells you anything, there is no communication. You just get a knock on the door so you know you are being fed but you need to ask for water. For breakfast, we eat bread with jam and for dinner, it is usually soup. We didn’t get fruit or veg for four days and we were only allowed to order from the supermarket once a week.

“We were separated and you are left on your own to entertain yourself. You have nothing, no clothes – we’re putting stuff in the bath and letting it dry on the balcony.

“So please if you are going to Mallorca, be careful. COVID does not disappear when you arrive here.” 

One concerned British mum described a similar experience to the Olive Press, calling her trip to Mallorca ‘hellish’, adding that her dream holiday has ended in ‘upset and significant stress’. 

The worried mum, who wishes to remain anonymous, told us that her entire family have been forced to isolate after her 17-year-old daughter tested positive five days into the family holiday. 

She said: “I can only describe it as hellish.  There is a severe lack of info, clarity,  advice, and tons of conflicting information.

“I travel on holidays abroad three times a year and this has been the worst experience of my life, exacerbated by the language barriers.” 

The devastated mum had to call more than 30 numbers to get any clear information about what would happen next to her family after receiving the positive test result.

The family was told to stay in their original hotel until an ambulance was ready to pick them up to transfer them to a COVID hotel but after five days the family is still in limbo.

The mum said: “After about 30 calls to various numbers, I eventually spoke to someone from Balearic Health who confirmed we were now in the system, three days after the positive test. 

“We were informed our health call is scheduled within 72 hours.  We had the call and were informed we were being moved to the isolation hotel but we are still sitting in our original hotel, however, with no updates, nothing.

“We were told by hotel staff to pack our bags ready for the ambulance to take us to a quarantine hotel but we are still waiting. Understandably the hotel is getting frustrated that we are still here and I’m told there are other positive cases in this hotel too.” 

She added: “I would seriously suggest to anyone, including children, to think again about travelling, particularly if unvaccinated.”


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