British tourists are facing an agonising wait to find out if they can leave a hotel lockdown in Tenerife tonight after an Italian visitor and his wife tested positive for coronavirus.
Around 1,000 guests are being kept inside the H10 Costa Adeje Palace with padlocks on the doors, police patrolling the complex and the resort ‘closed down’ over virus fears.
The panic was sparked when an Italian doctor tested positive yesterday, and authorities will announce the results of his second test at 8pm local time (7pm UK time) this evening.
If he tests positive for a second time, the trapped tourists are likely to face a longer quarantine.
The crisis deepened further this afternoon when the doctor’s wife also tested positive for the virus. She is facing her second test in Santa Cruz tomorrow.
One British couple, David Hoon and Pamela Scott, voiced their fear today that ‘we stand more chance of catching the coronavirus’ during the hotel lockdown.
Speaking to MailOnline, they claimed hotel staff were failing to keep them informed and said they were surviving on meagre snacks after being locked in their rooms.
Another British guest, Christopher Betts, said holidaymakers had received ‘no information whatsoever’.
The trapped tourists are facing medical tests of their own today after regional health authority staff arrived at the hotel wearing masks.
Other guests were locked out of the building with Spanish authorities scrambling to contain the virus, amid growing fears over the spiralling outbreak coming from Italy.
Another patient has tested positive in Barcelona in a separate case, bringing Spain’s total to five including the doctor and his wife.
British couple David Hoon and Pamela Scott (pictured together) say they fear that ‘we stand more chance of catching the coronavirus’ during the hotel lockdown
British tourists Jayney Brown and Elaine Whitewick (pictured together) say they are struggling to get information from the hotel
People outside a Tenerife hotel today after it was sealed off amid fears of a coronavirus outbreak in Spain, after an Italian visitor tested positive yesterday
Employees wearing protective masks arrange water bottles in the lobby of the hotel today
One guest posted this picture of a padlock on a door of the hotel, with a police vehicle parked outside to enforce the quarantine.
A letter from Tenerife hotel staff telling guests including British tourists to stay in their rooms after an Italian visitor tested positive for coronavirus
British tourists Mr Hoon, 60, and Ms Scott, 63, were on a four-day break at the hotel but woke today to find a letter pushed through their door – telling them the resort was ‘closed down’ for health reasons with guests ordered to ‘remain in their rooms’.
Since then, they have not had any meals are surviving on some soft drinks and meagre snacks, and have struggled to get answers from hotel management or holiday company Tui.
Mr Hoon told MailOnline: ‘Nobody is telling us what’s going on, how long this is going to last and who is going to feed us. The way this has been handled is a disgrace.
‘The hotel is like a ghost house and my fear is that by trapping us inside it, we stand more chance of catching the coronavirus. This whole thing is very worrying.’
Prior to the coronavirus scare, the couple Scott faced more holiday misery after sandstorms hit Tenerife last weekend, preventing them from leaving their hotel.
The couple, from Matlock, Derbyshire, were due to fly back to Britain tonight but now face an uncertain future.
Mr Hoon, who is the director of an engineering company, said: ‘It’s not been the best of breaks.
‘We’re in a very nice hotel but I wasn’t expecting to spend so much time in the room. First it was the weather and now it’s the coronavirus.
‘These four days have been very stressful, which will only push my blood pressure up. I was also due to return to work later this week which has just increased my worry.’
He added: ‘The boredom is already getting to us. There’s only one English language channel on the television and we have only one book to read.’
Fearing that the hotel’s air ducts might spread the coronavirus, Mr Hoon has switched off the air conditioning in his room, making things more testing. Temperatures in Tenerife at this time of year can reach 84F.
He said: ‘It’s already getting hot and sticky. I don’t know how long we’ll last just stuck in this room without a clue about what’s happening.
‘I fear that things will only get worse and we could be here for some time.’
Spanish media reported that there were around 1,000 tourists locked down at the hotel.
Holidaymakers stand on their balconies, some of them speaking on their phones, as they wait for news during today’s lockdown
A Spanish police officer puts up a barrier blocking access to the H10 Costa Adeje Palace hotel in Tenerife today
An employee wears a protective mask as he talks with guests inside the quarantined hotel
Around 1,000 guests have now been quarantined inside the hotel with security officers patrolling the complex
Concerned tourists stand outside the hotel, some of them wearing masks, after police barricaded the complex in Tenerife
Fellow British tourist Mr Betts said guests had been allowed to have breakfast in the hotel restaurant this morning but were otherwise told to stay in their rooms.
‘We can see from the window there are security officers outside the hotel and about 50 hotel employees,’ he said.
Another pair of Britons, Jayney Brown and Elaine Whitewick, told the Daily Mirror that they were struggling to get information from the hotel.
Ms Brown said: ‘We’ve had no food or anything. I think I feel a little bit in shock, I’ve not really reacted yet, I tend to go into practical mode.
‘We have got four bottles of water in our mini fridge but other than that, no one has contacted us or anything.’
I’m feeling a little bit scared but I’m more of a practical person really.’
Hannah Green, 27, from Hertfordshire, said she and her boyfriend had also been obstructed by both the sandstorm and the virus outbreak.
She described the communication from the hotel on Tuesday as ‘non-existent’, saying: ‘We woke up to a note under our door this morning saying for health reasons not to leave our room. I called downstairs to reception as soon as I saw it and they wouldn’t tell us anything.
‘So I quickly got on my phone and googled and saw a man had tested positive for coronavirus, so I basically assumed it was that.
‘But since then we’ve had nothing from the hotel – no one has told us anything or what’s going to happen.’
She said that while some people were moving around the hotel, she was staying put, adding: ‘We’re in our room with the [one-year-old] baby. We’re worried for the baby.
‘We don’t want to be here. We’re fed up now. We had the sandstorm earlier and now this.
‘The sandstorm was the day after we arrived, Sunday, so we had to stay in the hotel then. Holiday from hell, honestly.’
A person stands on a balcony at the hotel in Tenerife which has been locked down over virus fears
Spanish police officers stand outside the H10 Costa Adeje Palace hotel in Tenerife
A guest looks from the balcony of their hotel room after tourists were ordered to stay inside
A masked Spanish police officer by the side of an emergency vehicle outside the hotel today
The beach area at the back of the hotel has also been cordoned off, with some police officers outside the complex wearing face masks.
Local and national police were guarding the main road entrance to the hotel which was sealed off by barriers.
One guest posted a picture of a padlock on a door of the hotel, with a police vehicle parked outside to enforce the quarantine.
The Italian tourist was tested for the killer virus after going to a private clinic in Adeje in the south of Tenerife after falling ill.
The visitor, who comes from Italy’s Lombardy region where several people have died, had reportedly been staying at the hotel for seven days with his partner.
The result of his second test, which is being carried out at the National Center for Microbiology of the Carlos III Health Institute in Madrid, should be announced this evening.
Today his wife also tested positive and is being kept in isolation in hospital in Santa Cruz as she awaits her own second test tomorrow.
The woman is also in isolation in hospital in Santa Cruz.
María Jesús Montero, a government spokesman, said ‘definitive’ measures to be carried out will be decided based on the test results.
‘Each new possible case is treated with the utmost scientific rigor, following the protocols and ensuring total information transparency,’ he said.
‘Spain is prepared, it has a system that monitors suspicious cases and we are monitoring all situations to keep the citizens as a whole informed.’
Canary Islands president Angel Victor Torres confirmed yesterday that the ‘coronavirus protocol has been activated’ after the Italian patient tested positive.
‘We are checking people who had contact with the patient including the people in the hotel,’ a spokeswoman for Canary Island’s health department said.
A police vehicle is parked outside the hotel where officers have been patrolling the entrance and have also sealed off the beach area at the back of the complex
An Italian holidaymaker was found to be infected yesterday after feeling unwell during his stay at the H10 Costa Adeje Palace (file photo) in Tenerife
Around 1,000 guests have now been quarantined inside the hotel (file photo), reports say, with police reportedly surrounding the complex which is popular with Britons
A spokesman at H10 Hotels headquarters in Barcelona said: ‘Due to the presence of a possible case of coronavirus detected in a guest from Italy who has been staying at the H10 Costa Adeje Palace Hotel, H10 Hotels is cooperating closely with the health authorities and has activated all the health and operational measures recommended by them to guarantee the security of its guests and employees.
‘It is also making sure guests and employees receive all the assistance and care they need.’
The Italian’s age has not been made public. It is Spain’s third coronavirus case.
Previously, a British man tested positive in Mallorca, where he lives, but did not show any symptoms and was later given the all-clear.
His wife and two daughters were tested negative.
Separately, a German tourist who tested positive in La Gomera was kept in isolation for two weeks before being given the all-clear.
Five of his companions also had to be kept in quarantine, despite testing negative. All have now returned to Germany.
A spokeswoman for Tui UK said: ‘We’re aware of a reported case of Covid-19 at the H10 Palace Hotel in Costa Adeje, Tenerife.
‘All guests have been asked to remain in their rooms and are being looked after by the hotel.
‘Our holiday programme to Tenerife continues to operate as planned for all other hotels.
‘We will provide a further update as soon as we have more information.’
Two people arrive at the University Hospital of the Nuestra Senora de Candelaria in Tenerife where an Italian national has been isolated after testing positive for the coronavirus
Passengers queue at an airport in Tenerife, where an Italian holidaymaker has tested positive for the virus
Seven deaths and 229 infections in Italy have fanned panic in neighbouring countries and sparked a clamour for governments to impose border checks.
The European Union is under mounting pressure to suspend the passport-free Schengen travel zone to stop coronavirus spreading across the continent.
But despite warning of a ‘moderate to high risk’ of more clusters sprouting up on European soil, Brussels yesterday confirmed it would not be freezing Schengen arrangements ‘for the moment’.
The 26 Schengen states – including Italy – have abolished border controls, meaning people can pass seamlessly from country to country.
Italy’s northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto have suffered the brunt of the nation’s outbreak, and have been added to a global list with China, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore and South Korea as coronavirus hotbeds.
Some 55,000 residents have been placed under lockdown, with internal police checkpoints, schools shut and public events axed, including the popular Venice carnival.
The coronavirus cases in Italy – the first major outbreak in Europe – have seen other countries take drastic action to leap on suspected patients.
In France yesterday, an unwell coach driver sparked panic at a Lyon bus station after arriving with virus symptoms from Italy.
French police impounded the FlixBus coach after it arrived from Milan with the driver reportedly suffering a bad cough and he was rushed to quarantine.
Fearing the infection could have breached the border, officials in Paris have ordered French citizens returning from Lombardy and Veneto to self-isolate.
A map showing the latest numbers of coronavirus cases around the world. Cases have surged in South Korea, Italy and Iran in recent days
In Mauritius yesterday, dozens of airline passengers from Lombardy and Veneto who had just landed were told to return home or face quarantine.
The outbreak rocked Italy’s financial markets and by close saw 5.4 per cent wiped off the country’s stock exchange.
Most of the cases in Italy can be traced back to a 38-year-old man in the town of Codogno whom authorities have called ‘patient one’.
Investigators are reconstructing minute by minute the man’s movements over the past few weeks – where he slept, ate, walked – in a bid to trace everyone he could have come into contact with.
‘We had the most unfortunate situation possible; the outbreak of an epidemic in a hospital,’ infectious disease expert Massimo Galli told the Corriere della Sera daily.
‘Unfortunately, in these cases, a hospital can turn into a frightening amplifier of contagion,’ he said..
The 38-year old had not travelled to China and doctors failed to treat him with the necessary precautions.
The man initially believed to have given him the virus after returning from Shanghai later tested negative. ‘We still do not know who brought the coronavirus to Codogno,’ Galli said.