| 3.5°C Dublin

Irish trapped inside Tenerife hotel in 'lockdown' are tested for virus

  • Guests told to stay in rooms by note pushed under doors

Close

The H10 Costa Adeje Palace Hotel in La Caleta. Photo: Desiree Martin/AFP via Getty Images

The H10 Costa Adeje Palace Hotel in La Caleta. Photo: Desiree Martin/AFP via Getty Images

AFP via Getty Images

The H10 Costa Adeje Palace Hotel in La Caleta. Photo: Desiree Martin/AFP via Getty Images

Irish guests "in lockdown" at a hotel in Tenerife were being tested for the coronavirus by a team of doctors last night.

It emerged yesterday that an Italian doctor staying at the H10 Costa Adeje Palace in Tenerife had tested positive for the covid-19 virus.

As a result, 1,000 guests and staff are currently in lockdown inside the hotel.

It is understood there are around 20 Irish guests there.

They were told to stay in their rooms in a note that was slipped under their doors yesterday morning.

An Irishman on holiday with his partner and staying at the hotel - who did not wish to be named - spoke to the Herald yesterday and said a team of doctors were making their way through the hotel, taking guests' temperatures.

Temperature

"After they've taken your temperature they give you a mask and a thermometer and you can move about the grounds," he said.

"You take your temperature again in the morning and if it's gone up you're supposed to notify them.

"What we think is happening is that they're going to quarantine us here, but we don't know that, they haven't told us."

Guests received a picnic meal yesterday evening and all cafes and bars in the resort remain closed.

Close

A Spanish police officer blocks access to the hotel

A Spanish police officer blocks access to the hotel

AP

A Spanish police officer blocks access to the hotel

"It was all right - it would keep you alive," the guest added.

The mood remained quiet yesterday evening as the main source of news for the guests was from the media and speaking to each other.

"We're a little bit anxious to see what's going to happen because we don't know," the Irish guest said.

"The official line is that this is precautionary, but the logical follow-on is that they're going to quarantine us.

"But that means we'll be stuck here for two weeks minimum."

Police are ensuring that no one enters or leaves the complex.

Overnight staff from the Sunday to Monday shift are still in the hotel.

"When we went downstairs yesterday morning we also saw that the police had cordoned off the streets around the hotel. We found out that staff who were turning up for work weren't being allowed in," the holidaymaker said.

"The only staff that were around were the ones that have been here all night, so they were exhausted."

The man and his partner were due to fly home tomorrow.

"People aren't overly concerned about the virus. It kind of seems unlikely," he said.

"Nobody is feeling unwell. There's no panic around the place. It's just a little bit surreal."

His view was echoed by staff working in Irish bars in the area.

Lucy Szatmairi, who manages Mullarkey's bar in Costa Adeje, said: "Nobody is panicked. Everything is working normally. It's just the hotel is closed.

"Nobody is panicking around here."

Also nearby is The Temple Bar, where staffer Peter said his place of work was close to the hospital where the Italian doctor was taken.

"We're working business as usual here, but we're a bit worried if they will close the whole town," he said.

"Especially for the people who are on holiday, it must be terrible for them."

The Department of Foreign Affairs has opened a dedicated phone line for those with concerns regarding the virus due to a "high volume of calls".

Safety

"Anyone who has specific concerns regarding Irish citizens currently in any affected areas can contact the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on 01 613 1733," a spokesperson said.

The Italian doctor, who had travelled with his wife, tested positive on Monday and is in isolation in hospital.

A statement from the hotel said it had "implemented all health and operational recommendations from the health authorities to ensure the safety and well-being of customers and employees".

"We are providing customers and hotel staff all the necessary care and attention so that, despite the inconveniences this situation may cause, they are taken care of in the best way possible," it added.