Spanish island hotel locked down over coronavirus

Police officer sets up a barrier, blocking access to the H10 Costa Adeje Palace hotel on the Canary Islands. (AP pic)

MADRID: A four-star hotel in Spain’s Canary Islands was locked down on Tuesday, with all guests barred from leaving until further tests were carried out after a case of coronavirus was discovered, government spokeswoman Maria Montero said on Tuesday.

“We’re told we’re in quarantine due to an Italian doctor testing (positive) for the coronavirus. The hotel seems to be normal, except that we cannot go out,” guest Christopher Betts said over the phone from his room at the hotel. “There are police cars stationed at all entrances.”

Spanish health authorities said they would test hotel guests and staff. Late on Monday, they had said an Italian doctor in Tenerife on holiday had tested positive for the virus.

The man was now in isolation in hospital. He was the third case identified in Spain after a German tourist in La Gomera, another Canary Island, and a British man in Mallorca.

“For the time being, the guests will stay at the hotel until this second test and, depending on the results, appropriate health measures will be taken,” Montero said, adding that the patient’s wife had been taken into isolation.

Betts, a British national from Leicestershire, said they had been allowed to have breakfast in the hotel restaurant.

“We were originally told to go back to our rooms after breakfast, but we haven’t done so, and everyone else seems to be talking around reception as normal. But unfortunately no one has any more information as yet, they’re all waiting for the health authorities.”

He said he had not been tested for the virus yet and had missed his flight home.

Hotel employees were wearing masks, but none were provided to the guests, Betts said. The video he provided from inside the hotel showed people carrying on normally, except for the donning of masks.

Other hotel staff were waiting outside on the parking lot, unable to get into the hotel, footage shows.

H10 Costa Adeje Palace hotel will not comment, a receptionist at the Barcelona-based company managing the hotel said.

The hotel has a capacity for hundreds of guests, several restaurants and several swimming pools and is located 50m from the beach. On its Facebook page, the H10 Costa Adeje Palace said it had planned a carnival party on Thursday evening.

Tens of thousands are expected this week in the Canary Islands for carnival festivities.