Coronavirus: Bath couple describe Maldives resort chaos

coronavirus bath couple describe maldives resort chaos - Coronavirus: Bath couple describe Maldives resort chaosImage copyright Jane and Piers Rivington
Image caption The Bath couple were holidaying in the Maldives when other guests tested positive for Covid-19

A couple has described chaos at a luxury holiday resort in the Maldives after two other holidaymakers tested positive for coronavirus.

Jane and Piers Rivington, from Bath, had gone to the Sandies Bathala resort to celebrate Mr Rivington’s birthday.

The couple said there was a “lack of information” and “workers in hazardous material clothing” at the resort.

Travel firm Kuoni said the island had taken immediate steps to limit any spread of infection linked to Covid-19.

A spokesman said the steps taken were “in line with prepared plans which have been guided by the Ministry of Tourism and Health Protection Agency”.

“Our reps were in touch with all customers on the island and kept them fully up to date on their travel options,” he said.

“This is an extraordinary situation and we appreciate that it is disrupting holiday plans and we are doing all we can in the circumstances to keep customers fully informed.”

‘Refused to co-operate’

The Rivingtons flew out on 27 February but said on the following Friday someone on the island was “showing symptoms of the virus”.

“Two Italians became unwell, tested positive and were evacuated,” Mr Rivington said.

“We heard that the resort manager had left on leave the previous day and the assistant manager had resigned.” 

Image copyright Piers Rivington
Image caption Health officers dressed in protective clothing carried out checks on guests

For the next few days, the couple followed the resort’s measures to limit the spread, but said other guests decided not to do so.

“The Italian guest contingent refused to co-operate, insisted on using the restaurant as normal and forced staff to reopen the bar,” said Mr Rivington. 

“Lack of information and confusion continued for several days and the resort seemed to be struggling to cope.”

On Thursday, the couple were told to go to reception where both were given a health check and their temperature was taken.

They said they were then told they would be flown back home that day, despite the island being in lockdown.

Kuoni said the resort would close temporarily between 19 March and 10 June and all customers have been notified and moved to alternative resorts.

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