Around 160 British tourists will be locked in a Tenerife hotel for two weeks after authorities announced a full-scale quarantine today.
Hundreds of guests will be kept inside the H10 Costa Adeje Palace for 14 days after the virus was brought to the resort by an Italian doctor.
The doctor’s wife and two more Italians in his travelling party have also tested positive for the virus, bringing the total of hotel cases to four.
Britons inside the hotel have been handed thermometers and told to take their own temperatures, while some guests lounged by the pool wearing masks today as they settled in for a two-week stay.
Meanwhile, authorities are beginning a hunt for tourists who have already left the hotel and may have come into contact with the infected patients.
According to The Sun, at least one Briton who has returned to the UK after staying at the hotel has since been tested after suffering from symptoms.
Spanish health chiefs are gathering names from the hotel and plan to send the list to their countries of origin including the UK.
Sunbathing in masks: Tourists lounge by the pool of H10 Costa Adeje Palace as they settle in for a two-week lockdown after Spanish authorities confirmed a quarantine
Two hotel guests wearing masks wave from the window of the Tenerife resort today where holidaymakers will have to stay put for 14 days
A guest wearing a protective face mask stands at the window of the H10 Costa Adeje Palace today where tourists were told they face two weeks in quarantine
A police officer walks outside H10 Costa Adeje Palace, which is on lockdown after four cases of coronavirus were detected there
Tourists in quarantine wave from inside the H10 Costa Adeje Palace hotel in Tenerife today
One British couple, Hannah Green and her boyfriend Court Amys, who are in Spain with their one-year-old son, said the lockdown had been ‘pretty rough’
Regional health chiefs have asked the H10 Costa Adeje Palace to hand over a list of names of guests who were at the hotel after February 17, the date the four Italians who have the virus checked in.
A spokesman for the regional health authority said: ‘The hotel has been asked for a list of the names of people who were staying at the hotel since the guests who tested positive arrived, and have already left Tenerife.
‘That is so the information can be sent to their countries of origin for them to manage the tracking of those possible contacts.’
The tourists who are still in the hotel now face two weeks in a padlocked hotel, forced to wear masks when they leave their bedrooms.
Some people are moving around the hotel and going to the pool and restaurant even though they have been advised to stay in.
Canary Islands health minister Teresa Cruz confirmed the 14-day quarantine at the four-star hotel in Adeje at a press conference today.
She said 106 tourists could leave today because they checked into the hotel on Monday, after the first two Italians who tested positive for the virus had already been taken into quarantine.
Hotel employees and guests who live in Tenerife would also be allowed to leave but would be monitored ‘actively’ from their homes, she said.
But foreign holidaymakers who were at the hotel before the Italian doctor who first tested positive was transferred to hospital will have to spend two weeks at the hotel.
She told the press conference: ‘Those guests who don’t have any symptoms can lead a normal life with the relevant measures of protection.
‘Those guests with symptoms will remain isolated inside their rooms.’
Saying procedures would be put in place to make sure they were provided with things like nappies, and milk for babies and any medication needed, she added: ‘Today we have reinforced the medical staff to cover the 24 hours of the 14 days we have ahead of us.’
British tour operator Jet2 said today that it had stopped selling stays at the hotel, but would continue flying to Tenerife.
‘Customers who are due to travel to the hotel will be transferred to other accommodation,’ a statement said.
A vehicle is parked outside the H10 Costa Adeje Palace hotel today, with Spanish authorities enforcing a lockdown and also hunting for tourists who previously stayed at the hotel
Hotel guests and staff stand outside the building yesterday after entrances and exits were sealed off by Spanish authorities
Tourists look out from the balcony of their hotel room in Tenerife yesterday after guests were kept inside the building to contain the spread of the virus
A Spanish police officer sets up a barrier blocking the road to the H10 Costa Adeje Palace hotel in Tenerife yesterday as the complex was locked down over coronavirus fears
Closed: The H10 Costa Adeje Palace is being guarded by police. Guests were confined to their bedrooms at the four-star hotel in a desperate attempt to stop the virus from spreading
Waiting for news: Crowds outside the hotel in Tenerife. Last night, it was revealed most of the guests will be ‘subject to active individual monitoring’
British hotel guests describe life in the hotel lockdown
British hotel guests David and Pamela Scott told ITV’s This Morning that they have to wear masks when they leave their room.
The couple were due to return home yesterday, but like other guests they received a letter under their door informing them of the shutdown.
Mr Scott said he was running out of medication and struggling to get hold of holiday operator TUI.
‘I’ve run out of blood pressure meds this morning. While we were waiting to come on show, phonecall from TUI, if there’s no joy there, it’s onto the British consulate,’ Mr Scott said.
‘We have to wear masks when we’re outside the room.
‘We’ve just been to get a coffee. We couldn’t get down to get a hot drink yesterday.’
‘We can walk round the grounds as long as you’re wearing the masks.’
Canary Islands president Angel Victor Torres said last night the Italian doctor – believed to have stayed for six days – flew to Tenerife on February 17 and took a bus to the hotel.
He confirmed that authorities are still waiting for the results of second tests carried out in Madrid on the doctor and his wife, but expected them to come back positive.
The doctor was part of a group of 10 Italians who were the first of the hotel guests to be tested for coronavirus.
According to Spanish media, the two new patients are also Italian nationals who were part of the doctor’s travelling party.
Another 23 Italians were the next group to be tested and tests on the remaining guests were still going on Tuesday night.
Torres said around 100 tourists who had checked in on Monday and had no contact with the Italian doctor and his wife could leave today.
He added: ‘The others will have to be subject to active individual monitoring.’
Domingo Nunez, head of epidemiology at the Canary Islands Health Service, defended the decision to keep the hotel on lockdown last night.
Using the word ‘quarantine’ which authorities had been avoiding all day, he said: ‘We are convinced there wasn’t another option to the measures that were adopted, at least as an initial measure of contention against the spread of the virus.
‘It was necessary to establish the initial hotel quarantine.’
Trapped: Elaine Whitewick and Jayney Brown (pictured together) are among dozens of Britons believed to be in lockdown at the Canary Islands hotel
One British couple, Hannah Green and her boyfriend Court Amys, who are in Spain with their one-year-old son, said the lockdown had been ‘pretty rough’.
‘We heard a doctor was coming round to speak to us and test us but we didn’t see one. We’re just waiting for that to happen.’
Speaking about her baby son to ITV’s Good Morning Britain, she said: ‘It’s hard to keep them entertained in the room. We’re really worried about him getting it.’
She added: ‘There’s loads of people out wandering. Everyone is wearing masks. They let people sit by the pool.
‘They are bit more strict this morning telling everybody the front door is completely locked down. Tents set up outside. We just want to know what’s going on really.’
Ms Green said the family were eventually given a thermometer on Wednesday morning and told to take their own temperatures.
She said their readings were currently normal, adding: ‘We’ve got to take our temperatures again at 6 o’clock.’
Ms Green said she wanted to go home, adding that travel firm Tui – who the family travelled with – have called her and said they will keep her updated.
She said: ‘The hotel has turned it round a little bit, they’ve started giving us food and the staff are working hard.
‘It’s not their fault, they didn’t expect this to happen either. They have turned it around, it’s just the lack of information really that’s getting to us. We just don’t know what’s going on or how long we’re going to have to be here.
Escaped: Anthony Wilkins with his girlfriend Sheila Taylor and her daughters Charlotte and Jess. Officials told Anthony Wilkins, 60, that his stay at the hotel had coincided with the Italian carriers’
The hotel’s external doors were padlocked shut yesterday as dozens of police officers guarded its entrances after the alert was triggered.
Letters were placed under the doors of the hotel’s 500 rooms telling guests that the hotel had been ‘closed down’ and that guests ‘must remain’ in their rooms.
While some guests were served breakfast in their bedrooms in an attempt to enforce the curfew, many others ignored the stay-put advice and started to roam around.
Those willing to venture out into the ‘ghost town’ were able to eat breakfast at a buffet and use the hotel’s sun-lounging areas, while a makeshift distribution station was set up for bottled water.
Guests yesterday expressed concerns that hundreds of holidaymakers may have already come into contact with the infected couple before travelling to their homes across Europe.
Around 30 Brits travelling with TUI are known to be in the hotel. Officials say the guests come from 25 nationalities including Belgians, Dutch and Brits.
Since the weekend Spain has gone from having no current confirmed cases of coronavirus to seven – the four in Tenerife, one in Barcelona, one in Castellon and another in Madrid.
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
Holidaymakers stand on their balconies, some of them speaking on their phones, as they wait for news during the lockdown yesterday
One guest posted this picture of a padlock on a door of the hotel, with a police vehicle parked outside to enforce the quarantine
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
A letter from Tenerife hotel staff telling guests including British tourists to stay in their rooms after an Italian visitor tested positive for coronavirus
Those who remained inside their rooms complained of going hungry and being forced to survive on snacks with little information about what was happening.
Face masks were initially distributed to the hotel’s staff members, prompting complaints that guests had been left with no protection from further spread.
The situation was only later resolved when the owner of a meat company delivered 1,000 masks and 200 gloves for worried guests.
As health staff arrived to carry out tests at the hotel yesterday, a notice attached to the back gate of the hotel read: ‘Entrance forbidden to people not authorised.’
A British holidaymaker who recently returned from the hotel yesterday criticised the UK’s ‘confusing’ health advice and described how he had been gripped with worry since returning to the UK.
Officials told Anthony Wilkins, 60, that his stay at the hotel had coincided with the Italian carriers’.
But since returning to the UK on a Jet2 flight on Sunday with his girlfriend Sheila Taylor, 47, and her two daughters, they have received wildly conflicting advice.
Employees wearing protective masks arrange water bottles in the lobby of the hotel
An employee wears a protective mask as he talks with guests inside the quarantined hotel
Spanish police officers stand outside the H10 Costa Adeje Palace hotel in Tenerife
The salesman said: ‘The last thing I want is to be blamed for spreading this around. The advice so far has been terrible.’
Mr Wilkins, from Carlisle, called the NHS 111 number and was told that there is no need to go into ‘self-isolation’ because he had not presented symptoms.
Despite raising concerns, Miss Taylor has been advised to turn up at the NHS hospital where she works as a theatre nurse despite advice from her GP to remain in isolation.
Mr Wilkins said: ‘I am 99.9 per cent sure that we don’t have the virus and are not panicking or dramatising. But I don’t want to get on a train and possibly start spreading the virus.’
Holidaymaker Elaine Whitewick, who is away with friend Jayney Brown, shared videos on Facebook showing police outside the hotel.
She said: ‘This is what we’ve been offered. Just water. We’ve been told we’ve got to go back to our rooms.’
Nigel Scotland, another guest, estimated that ‘500 or 600 people must have left the hotel and gone back to various places in Europe’ during the infected doctor’s stay.
British guest David Hoon, 60, from Matlock, Derbyshire, said: ‘Nobody is telling us what’s going on. The way this has been handled is a disgrace.’
A team of doctors will remain at the hotel round-the-clock for the time being. Psychologists will also form part of the response team.
A Foreign Office spokesman said that its staff were offering advice and support to a number of British people at the hotel and their families.