Alex Williams, 25, from North Wales claim staff at the hotel in Lanzarote, told his brother the hotel was “too nice” for them to stay there after they tested positive for Covid-19
Image: Alex Williams / MEN Media)
A holidaymaker with Covid claims he was booted out of his hotel and left to wander the streets for hours after staff learned of his positive result.
Alex Williams, 25, had flown to Lanzarote with his brother and a friend for a Christmas break before New Year on December 20.
But when the trio from North Wales took their tests in preparation to fly home, both Alex and his friend tested positive – leading the staff at their hotel, Hotel Lancelot in Arrecife, to insist they must leave adding “the hotel is too nice”, Alex claims.
After failing to get any help from the British Embassy or Spanish services, the three men say they were left wandering the streets for hours with their luggage on New Year’s Eve, until paramedics suddenly collected them in an ambulance, but refused to tell them where they were going.
“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,” Alex told the Manchester Evening News.
“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 too nice”, and that they were fully booked.”
He added: “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 a positive result. It felt like we’d done something wrong like we’d broken some kind of law. There was no information whatsoever, really.”
Alex Williams / MEN Media)
The hotel denied Alex’s claims insisting that it 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.
Alex said that he was left trying to ring alternative helplines, including the British Embassy to try and get reassurance and information on what they needed to do, but was met with full voicemail boxes and redirected to unhelpful online guidance pages.
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.”
Alex said alternative accommodation was eventually made available for them, and they were later picked up by an ambulance.
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But paramedics initially refused to tell the men where they were going, the film student said.
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 the organisation was unable to comment on the case until the claims had been fully investigated.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.