Alex Williams, who lives in north Wales, flew to the Spanish island on December 20 for a Christmas break with his brother and friend. But when the trio took Covid tests in order to fly home, two tested positive, including Mr Williams (pictured left) and his friend
Three British tourists have said they were forced to leave their hotel and were left wandering the streets for hours after testing positive for Covid-19 in Lanzarote.
Alex Williams, who lives in north Wales, flew to the Spanish island on December 20 for a Christmas break with his brother and friend.
But when the trio took Covid tests to fly home, Mr Williams and his friend both tested positive. The pair took another test, only to find the same result.
But Mr Williams says after the test, there was ‘no information about what to do next’ beyond advice that they should return to their hotel – Hotel Lancelot in Arrecife.
‘We were given a helpline to call, they basically told us to go back to hotel and that the hotel would be informed we had tested positive,’ 25-year-old Mr Williams told the Manchester Evening News (MEN).
‘We were in our rooms from December 30 to 31, when we were supposed to fly home.
‘We asked the helpline what we should do as we were due to check out and had nowhere to go. They put us in touch with a support service for tourists with Covid in the Canary Islands, run by AXA, which said it would find accommodation for us but couldn’t promise anything.
‘But by the time we were supposed to check out, we still had nowhere to go. My brother asked if we could stay in the hotel, but the staff said ‘they have to leave, this hotel is to nice’, and that they were fully booked.
‘But I don’t think that’s true because the hotel was half empty. As soon as they found out we had Covid, they just wanted us out.
‘We felt like we were being kicked out onto the streets with positive result. It felt like we’d done something wrong, like we’d broken some kind of law. There was no information whatsoever, really.’
The hotel firmly denied Mr Williams’ comments and said the hotel was fully booked.
A spokesperson for Hotel Lancelot said: ‘We are very sorry about the contagion but we have not lied. It is Christmas and the hotel is full.
‘We are currently assisting three families with isolated Covid and we do the best we can. The argument is not true.’
They added they were not responsible for booking or managing alternative arrangements.
Mr Williams said that he was left trying to ring alternative help lines to try and get reassurance and information on what they needed to do.
Mr Williams says after the test, there was ‘no information about what to do next’ beyond advice that they should return to their hotel – Hotel Lancelot in Arrecife (pictured)
He explained: ‘It took us three hours to find any information and we had to use toilets and get something to eat in that time.
‘I resorted to calling the British Embassy – one number I found online rung out and said the mailbox was full, someone on a different line told me I should go to the government website’s terms and conditions for when you test positive in Spain, which I’d already read and hadn’t helped.
‘We were in a serious situation, it was New Year’s Eve and we couldn’t be out all night with our bags. It wasn’t safe.
‘My girlfriend and parents were calling me worried, I couldn’t tell them what was happening because I didn’t know myself. We were fine in ourselves, it was the uncertainty of not knowing what was going to happen next.’
The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) said travel advice for Spain is available online which sets out the measures in place if someone tests positive for COVID-19 whilst in Spain.
Mr Williams says he and his travel companion were picked up by an ambulance (pictured left) but said the paramedic was angry with the group, and told him to stop filming on his phone
The advice includes the possibility that they may be required to enter a quarantine hotel, and that British nationals should follow the advice of the local authorities at all times.
A FCDO Spokesperson told the MEN: ‘Consular staff are available 24/7, 365 days a year to provide assistance to those who request our help.’
Mr Williams said alternative accommodation was eventually made available for them, and they were later picked up by an ambulance.
He said: ‘Eventually, we were told that we would be getting picked up back at the hotel by an ambulance.
‘Neither of us had any symptoms at this point, was the ambulance going to take us to hospital? We didn’t know.
‘When we were collected by the ambulance, I got my camera out. I wanted to film it as I’m doing a film degree. But then the paramedic started shouting at me, and wouldn’t tell us where we were going until I put the camera away.
‘The paramedic started getting so angry that he said he would call the police.
‘We were then taken to an apartment, which is really nice, where we have been isolating since. We’re grateful that we’re here and we’ve been told by AXA that we don’t have pay for it and that they will also pay for the flight home, which is helpful.
‘But if I thought this was going to happen, I wouldn’t have booked to come away.’
A spokesperson for AXA said: ‘We are unable to comment until we can fully investigate this matter.’