Norfolk couple in isolation after being flown home from coronavirus hotel
PUBLISHED: 10:33 04 March 2020 | UPDATED: 13:06 05 March 2020
Ben and Jen King
A Norfolk couple are in isolation at home after flying back from the Tenerife hotel at the centre of the coronavirus outbreak.
Ben and Jen King from Heacham, near King's Lynn, flew out to the Canary Islands for a short break on Friday, February 21.
They were about to fly home when health authorities placed the H10 Costa Adeje Palace in lockdown, after an Italian doctor tested positive for the virus.
"We flew out, all good, we had a couple of days, had a sandstorm, went out on the Monday night and were meant to fly back on the Tuesday," said business consultant Mr King, 44. "On the Tuesday morning we woke up to a letter through the door saying 'please stay in your rooms.' The hotel has been closed by the health authorities.
"We stayed in our rooms all that day without any further information or supplies. We eventually got a couple of tubs of cold pasta."
The following day, the couple were told they would have to stay in the hotel because someone had tested positive for coronavirus.
"The first couple of days were a bit of a nightmare," said Mr King. "You weren't given any information. We had a young child at home and he was getting upset."
Guests were allowed out of their rooms, wearing masks, to collect food from a buffet.
Mr King said he and his 35-year-old wife had previously only used the hotel as a place to sleep and spent their days sightseeing, so had not mingled with other guests.
"From what we'd read about the outbreak we were relatively calm," he said. "It wasn't too bad once we got our heads around it."
After twice testing negative for coronavirus, the Kings were told they could be flown back to Manchester with other Britons from the hotel by a Jet2 flight.
They were told that on returning home to Heacham, they would have to remain in isolation until March 7.
"From our point of view we're now stuck indoors," said Mr King. "We both work in positions where we can work from home.
"We've lots of family members around locally, so we're just messaging people to buy us a few things from the shop and leave them on the doorstep."
Mr King said their young son, who is staying with his grandparents, had "sort have got his head around it".
"It's not an ideal situation for us to be separated but worse things happen at sea is the approach we're taking," he said.
To date six people at the hotel have now tested positive. The latest, a British woman, was confirmed to have the virus yesterday.
"Neither of us is showing any symptoms," said Mr King. "So it's fingers and toes crossed."