'Chaos', stolen hand sanitiser - what it was like during the coronavirus lockdown at a Maldives resort
- A luxury resort in the Maldives was locked down for five days after two staff members tested positive for the coronavirus, CNN reported.
- Guests at Kuredo Island Resort told Business Insider they were not tested for the coronavirus during the lockdown but were given health screenings that included having their temperature taken.
- They were free to walk around the resort as usual during the lockdown, but activities like boat trips and excursions were cancelled.
- Some guests said they enjoyed an extended vacation, while others said there was confusion and conflicting information.
- On Thursday, the resort announced the restrictions were partially lifted and that once a guest was screened by the Health Protection Agency, they were free to leave the island.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
A luxury resort in the Maldives was locked down for five days after two staff members tested positive for the coronavirus, CNN reported.
Guests at the Kuredu Island Resort, one of the largest resorts in the Maldives, were told on Saturday that they could not leave the resort until further notice.
"The temporary restrictive measures will continue until such time that the authorities release the island from its quarantine period," the resort said in a March 11 statement posted to its website. "At this time there will be no flight in or out of the island. The island is well stocked with the essentials and we are confident in the care that will be provided to all."
The next day, on March 12, the resort announced the restrictions were partially lifted and that once a guest was screened by the Health Protection Agency, they would be free to leave the island. Two guests told Business Insider on Thursday that some guests had been able to leave the island that day, while others were awaiting their health screenings.
Kuredu was one of four Maldives resorts under quarantine, according to The Telegraph.
Tourists who were staying at the resort at the time of the lockdown told Business Insider that they were still allowed to walk around the resort as usual and that those unable to leave on their scheduled flights were staying free of charge.
The resort didn't immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment for this story.
Here's what life under quarantine looked like at the Kuredu Island Resort.
Tourists were on lockdown at a luxury resort in the Maldives for five days after at least two staff members at the resort tested positive for the coronavirus.
Guests at the Kuredu Island Resort, one of the largest resorts in the Maldives, were told on March 7 that they could not leave the resort until further notice, some of them told Business Insider.
On Thursday, the resort announced the restrictions were partially lifted and that once a guest was screened by the Health Protection Agency, they would be free to leave the island.
Two guests said on Thursday that some guests had been able to leave the island that day, while others were awaiting their health screenings.
The resort said it's still not accepting new arrivals until further notice.
Kuredu Island is the only resort on the island of Kuredu, in Lhaviyani Atoll.
Kuredu, which saw the country's first coronavirus cases, was one of four Maldives resorts under quarantine, according to The Telegraph.
Jessica Rose Galsworthy, a 28-year-old food blogger from England, told Business Insider that guests were free to walk around the resort as usual during the lockdown.
Galsworthy and her boyfriend were set to leave the resort on March 7 - the day the quarantine went into effect.
Galsworthy, who shared her experiences of being quarantined at the resort on Instagram, told Business Insider that despite the situation, she and her boyfriend were doing well and "the hotel [is] looking after us fantastically."
She said the main differences she's noticed at the resort during the quarantine are "a few less staff," one of the restaurants closing, and excursions being stopped.
"And it's an obviously different atmosphere," she said.
Galsworthy said in an Instagram story that guests were checking in with each other, asking each other what they've heard. She also said that hand sanitizer was being stolen from the resort's bathrooms and restaurants.
Galsworthy, who was not among the guests that were able to leave the island on Thursday, said the resort is letting guests stay free of charge. "Thank goodness because it is not cheap!" she wrote on Instagram.
The resort's online booking service was shut down, but according to outside booking websites, a night's stay at Kuredu in March 2021 ranges from $340 to about $1,000. Another guest said he was paying about $560 per night.
Tomas Pavlik, the 49-year-old chairman of an IT company in Prague, said that he and his family enjoyed an "extended vacation," but "some people were nervous."
Pavlik, who arrived at the resort on March 1 and was due to depart on March 8, said he'd spent most of the lockdown reading the news, swimming, snorkeling, and walking around the resort.
"I actually celebrated my birthday on the first day of lockdown," Pavlik told Business Insider. "Had a nice dinner and a bottle of good Champagne."
Pavlik said he didn't notice any shortage of food or supplies.
Another guest who did not want to be named said he didn't notice any panic during the lockdown.
Denise Clarke-Williams, a yoga teacher from Cheshire, England, said guests have received conflicting information about the duration of the quarantine.
The resort was mostly quiet under the quarantine, but there was "chaos" at reception Wednesday night, Clarke-Williams told Business Insider.
When the resort was put on lockdown on March 7, guests were told they'd have to stay for 14 days, she said. But on Wednesday, she and her partner were told they might be able to go home the next day, on March 12.
Clarke-Williams and her partner, who arrived at the Maldives resort on March 2 and were screened at the airport, had already changed their Emirates Airlines flights through a travel insurance company.
"They are trying to get us to go home tomorrow, but in an earlier letter we received, they told us to speak to our insurance company and change our flights, which we have done," she said on Wednesday. "So we have no flights for tomorrow."
Clarke-Williams said she was told there were four confirmed cases on the island and that more than 90 staff members were self-isolating. The resort did not respond to Business Insider's request for comment on the number of cases or the number of people self-isolating.
"We don't know why they can suddenly decide to send us home when originally we were told 14 days," Clarke-Williams said on Wednesday.
Footage from the resort's live webcams showed an empty beach at sunset on March 12.
A few people were seen in the pool area.
In an Instagram story on March 12, Galsworthy said they were told they can leave after a health screening, so she and her boyfriend could hopefully fly out in the next couple of days.
"The only risk now is obviously there's a whole island of people that want seaplanes to get over to the airport," she said. "They are in short supply."
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