'We've been told we're here until March 8' - Irish guests among those in official quarantine at Tenerife hotel

Employees wearing protective masks arrange water bottles in the lobby of a hotel under lockdown after a coronavirus case was identified in Adeje, in the Spanish Canary Island of Tenerife, Spain, February 25, 2020. Christopher Betts via REUTERS

Gabija Gataveckaite

IRISH GUESTS are among those in an official quarantine at a Tenerife hotel after four people tested positive for the coronavirus.

The hotel was put on lockdown on Tuesday after an Italian doctor and his wife staying at the H10 Adeje Palace hotel tested positive for the disease.

They are currently in quarantine at a Tenerife hospital.

According to health authorities on the Canary Islands, two other Italians who were part of the same group of holidaymakers who flew to the island and were staying at the hotel have also tested positive.

However, 130 guests out of the 700 on lockdown have been allowed to leave as they arrived after the Italian doctor had left the hotel but before the lockdown took place.

While it is thought that up to 20 guests who were on lockdown are Irish, it is not known if any of the people who have been allowed to leave are Irish.

An employee wears a protective mask as he talks on the phone inside a hotel under lockdown after a coronavirus case was identified in Adeje, in the Spanish Canary Island of Tenerife, Spain, February 25, 2020. Christopher Betts via REUTERS

“We’ve been told officially that we’re here until Monday, March 8th,” an Irish guest from within the hotel told Independent.ie.

“At least that piece is confirmed now.”

March 8 will mark 14 days since the Italian doctor left the hotel, however, if anybody develops symptoms before then, the guests may be retained for longer.

“Nobody else apparently in the hotel has shown any symptoms yet, but the concern is that if somebody were to get the virus in the hotel, the clock would reset at 14 days then,”

“So the date of March 8 can still change,” he said.

Top: A policeman blocks access to the hotel in Tenerife. Photo: AP

He said that boredom is beginning to set in among the guests.

“It all sounds great but it’s not really. We’re all doing laps of the hotel to get some exercise, we don’t want to swim because it’s not advised because of the virus, it’s very restrictive but that’s all it is.”

Bars and cafés remain closed, apart from the main restaurant in the resort, which is open for three meals a day.

“When you go to collect food from the buffet and if you have inadvertently left your mask off, he tells you to put it back on.

“We wear masks full time, we’re meant to change them every wear, certainly twice a day and there’s plenty available,” he said.

A lot of the Irish guests present are believed to be retired or semi-retired.

“There’s nobody really under huge pressure to be back at work,” he said.

“There’s no great big panic, it is what it is, we’d prefer to be out of here but we’re resigned to being here for a while.

“We’re hoping that nobody else becomes infected because that could extend out stay. We’re beginning to think what happens when we come back home, will we have to self isolate?

“We know some people who have come back recently are self-isolating,” he added.

Meanwhile, the department of foreign affairs and trade's dedicated hotline for Irish citizens with coronavirus related concerns opened on Tuesday.

It has received approximately 500 calls per day over the past two days.

It operates daily from 8am to 8pm and is managed by its Consular Unit and volunteers from across the department who answer calls and follow up on queries.

"Our Embassies and Consulates on the ground work tirelessly to support our citizens overseas with particular concerns," said a department spokesperson.

"We have provided updates today for over 25 countries. These are mostly minor updates to reflect local developments in each country and, in some cases, to add general health advice," it added.