Spanish holidaymakers forced into isolation

Spanish holidaymakers forced into isolation

18 March 2020

TWO local women have told how a night out at a bar in Fuerteventura turned scary when the Canary island went into an emergency coronavirus lockdown.

Friends Georgina Magorrian, from Downpatrick, and Monica Doran, from Dundrum, were only two nights into their holiday when things suddenly ended on the sunshine isle on Saturday night.

“We were sitting have a few drinks in McCarthy’s Irish bar in Corralejo around 11pm when military police came into the bar and just demanded everyone to leave,” said Georgina, who’s a hair stylist in Hair Company in Scotch Street.

“He said they would be back in 10 minutes and the place needed to be emptied. It was quite frightening as the guy was really big and nearly knocked me for six on his way out.”

Monica said they were informed that the lockdown would happen on Monday morning, but things moved very quickly when the Spanish government made its decision.

It wasn’t until the next day that the reality of their situation hit home.

Speaking on Monday night, Monica said: “We went for a walk into the town yesterday morning and it was quite scary as it was literally like a ghost town. 

“It hit home last night when we realised that we couldn’t go out to any restaurant or bar — the reality was a bit of a shocker.”

The two mothers are staying in the Surfing Colors hotel in Corralejo. However, their main problem is that they have no cooking facilities and all local restaurants, including at the hotel, are closed.

However, the hotel has informed them by note posted under their door that they can order cooked meals, but they must collect them themselves.

Georgina said: “We booked room-only and assumed it would be self-catering, but that wasn’t the case. We were happy enough to go-room only until we went into lockdown. Now we have no facilities to cook with so we are on Pot Noodles and bread rolls all the way.”

Monica, who works as a community carer, said that food shopping has taken on a new urgency for them and others in the area.

“We were kind of joking about people panic buying but reality kicked in yesterday and we thought we would need to go to the shop,” she explained.

“Security men have been posted at the doors of the supermarket from Monday morning and they are only letting in a few people at a time. 

“People are standing outside in a queue a metre apart and some are wearing masks and some are not. We also have to stand one metre apart when we are queuing for the tills as well.

“They’re being very vigilant. We can’t fault them as none of this is their fault.”

While the women are allowed out for walks, they can’t go too far or walk too closely together or to other people.

They said that the hotel management is also restricting interaction with them and that staff wearing masks and gloves leave bedsheets and towels for them to make up their own beds.

Sunbathing has also ended and the friends do not even get to enjoy sunshine on their balcony as its shaded for most of the day.

However, both women are trying to keep as upbeat and positive as they can be.

Monica said: “We keep telling ourselves that we are safer here because by the sound of things there’s more confirmed cases in Downpatrick alone than there is here. 

“There are no cases that we are aware of on the island and we thought that it was one of the safest places to go when we left last Thursday.”

Both are keeping in frequent contact with their worried families and friends by phone calls and by social media.

Georgina said: “I’ve never been so glad for Facebook in my life.  We chat and play some music and generally get our day in by reading reading books.

“There was a couple of times I had a bit of cabin fever but on the whole we are doing well. Our families are more worried about us and just want us home as soon as possible.”

The women hope that their evening flight to Dublin tomorrow night goes ahead as planned.