A ‘frightened’ British mother trapped in a coronavirus-stricken Tenerife hotel said today that guests are ignoring quarantine rules and she fears it could become another Princess Diamond cruise ship disaster.
Lara Pennington, 45, from Manchester, who is on holiday with her two young sons and elderly in-laws, said guests at the Costa Adeje Palace Hotel are failing to follow measures to prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
‘The Spanish government were advising that if we wanted to we could leave our rooms as long as we were wearing masks and washing hands,’ she told GMB.
‘It’s clearly apparent there are large numbers who are not following that process.
‘Containment strategy is clearly not working, it was never going to work.’
‘It should be an enforced quarantine,’ she added.
Lara Pennington (pictured), 45, from Manchester, said today that guests at the Tenerife hotel are flouting quarantine rules and risking spreading the virus
The hotel laid on free champagne for tourists yesterday after guests were told they would have to stay put at the resort until mid-March
Mrs Pennington said she has decided to self-isolate her family in the hotel room to ensure they don’t catch the disease, which has already claimed the lives of 2,771 people worldwide.
Mrs Pennington is one of at least 160 Britons holed up in the four-star Costa Adeje Palace Hotel resort after Spanish authorities padlocked its doors when four guests from Italy tested positive yesterday.
She told GMB this morning that her family has still to be tested for the illness and had only been provided with thermometers to check whether they were are infected.
‘We’re not being looked after in terms of our vulnerability,’ she said.
‘We are frightened.’
Guests were sunbathing in masks and enjoying free supplies of food and alcohol at the hotel poolside yesterday after learning they would be staying well into March. Mrs Pennington has decided to self-isolate herself and her family, fearing this type of behaviour risks spreading the illness
Yesterday, Mrs Pennington spoke of the guests’ ‘scary’ response to the outbreak, claiming many were still out by the pool, ‘spreading the virus’.
‘I feel there are lessons that should have been learned from the cruise ship [Diamond Princess],’ she said.
Japan has faced mounting criticism of its handling of the Diamond Princess ship after a failed effort to quarantine passengers on board. One positive test led to almost 700 infections and four deaths.
A police officer wearing a mask talks on the phone in front of the H10 Costa Adeje Palace hotel in La Caleta, in the Canary Island of Tenerife, Spain yesterday
Sunbathing in masks: Tourists in bikinis and face masks lounge by the pool of H10 Costa Adeje Palace as they settle in for a two-week lockdown after Spanish authorities confirmed a quarantine yesterday
Foreign governments eventually decided to repatriate their citizens on special evacuation flights after it became clear the virus was spreading freely on board.
In total, 970 people were allowed off the boat last week after testing negative for the virus, but several have subsequently been diagnosed with the illness.
Yesterday, guests at the Costa Adeje told of the ‘absolutely awful’ situation they were in and said they had been given conflicting information about how long the enforced stay would last.
Japan said it had contacted 813 former passengers of the Diamond Princess cruise ship who were allowed off after testing negative for coronavirus, and found 45 showing symptoms
970 passengers who had been held on board the Princess for almost two weeks amid an outbreak were allowed off after testing negative, but some have now tested positive
Employees wearing protective masks arrange water bottles in the lobby of the hotel yesterday
The Foreign Office began contacting guests last night to say they must remain at the hotel until March 10.
Mandy Davis, who is on holiday with her husband Roger, said: ‘Nobody knows what the right thing to do is, because nobody’s had this virus before.
‘So please, let’s sort something out, come and rescue us please, Boris. And let’s just get the hell out of here.’
Rosie Mitford, who is on holiday with her father and brother, only arrived at the hotel on Monday when the four Italians who tested positive had already left.
The 18-year-old nursing student said: ‘We want to come home now. We don’t see the point of staying here for two weeks when none of us have symptoms and then isolating when we get back.’