• As travel restrictions were placed upon countries due to the coronavirus pandemic, people have been forced to self-isolate, shelter in place, or quarantine in some pretty strange places.
  • Insider picked 10 places around the world that people have been forced to stay due to the pandemic.
  • A couple on their honeymoon was stuck in the Maldives for weeks, to the point where they were the only guests at the resort.
  • For more articles go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za 

All around the world, the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted every facet of daily life, including travel and vacations. As travel restrictions suddenly descended, tourists and others across the world were essentially placed in a holding pattern. But they're not the only ones affected. Some people have been forced to remain at their places of work, like the crew of a ship in the Arctic, or zookeepers who are keeping their animals safe and fed.

Keep scrolling to see 10 of the wildest places people have been stuck during the Covid-19 pandemic, from a bamboo Airbnb in Bali to a deserted island off the coast of Yemen.


Brent Underwood is riding out the pandemic in a California ghost town that he owns.

Brent Underwood/Cerro Gordo

Underwood drove out to Cerro Gordo, California, in March to relieve the town's caretaker. He became stuck out there when a snowstorm prevented the caretaker from returning, and prevented Underwood from leaving.

Cerro Gordo used to be a mining town, but it has been abandoned for over 100 years. Underwood purchased the town with a business partner in 2018, and they have been planning to turn it into a tourist destination.

"I figured I would roll a nice road trip into a little break, and that little break has become a longer break. I'm OK with that," he told Insider.

He's spent his time exploring the town, renovating some of its buildings, and even getting into astrophotography.


Andrea Goh, and 400 other Singaporeans, were forced to isolate for two weeks inside a five-star resort.

YouTube/Andrea Goh

Goh documented her 14-day stay inside the Shangri-La hotel in Singapore. The government mandated that anyone returning to the country would be required to self-isolate two weeks - so 400 or so returnees were placed inside the luxury resort.

As Insider reported, Goh said "the guests and the hotel staff all became a community thanks to a Facebook group they were all invited to. Everyone could chat with each other and set up Zoom calls, take part in 'happy hours,' and give the hotel some feedback."


Kinsey Wolanski, an influencer, spent almost an entire month on the so-called "Fyre Festival Island" in the Bahamas before hitching a ride on a private plane.

Courtesy of HomeAway

Wolanski flew to the Bahamas in March before travel restrictions were in place, and originally planned on staying for eight days, splitting her time between Nassau and Exuma, which is where the infamous Fyre Festival was supposed to have taken place.

However, when Los Angeles residents were advised to return home, Wolanski was unable to return to Nassau, which is where the airport is. Instead, she was stuck on Exuma. After almost a month, she received an offer via Instagram asking if she wanted to trade $1,000 (R17,000) in fuel money for a ride on a private plane. She accepted, though the rest of her friends stayed behind.

"We became friends with the staff there and the other people who were on the island, because there were only about 30 of us total," she told Insider over the phone, back in LA. "We tried to help out, we helped unload provisions."


YouTuber Eva zu Beck has been stuck on an essentially deserted island off the coast of Yemen for two months.

YouTube/Eva zu Beck

Zu Beck is riding out the coronavirus on the Yemeni island of Socotra. She arrived on March 11, and according to CNN, has been spending her days "wild camping on deserted white-sand beaches, fishing for grouper in the open ocean and climbing 10 story-high sand dunes." She, and other 40 tourists, arrived on the island to run Socotra's first-ever marathon.

After the race was completed, the runners were told to leave the island immediately, but Zu Beck chose to stay. "Life on Socotra is slow," she told CNN. "I spend most days outside reading a book, writing in my journal or hiking in the mountains."


British couple Corinne and Dave Pruden and their two sons traveled to Bali, Indonesia, before travel restrictions came into place. They've been staying in an Airbnb since.

twintastic_nomads / Instagram

The Prudens bought a one-way ticket to Bali and traveled there on March 16. Before the pandemic struck, they were planning on backpacking around Central America for six to nine months, so their apartment was already set to be rented out and they had to make plans to vacate their home.

Since then, they've been staying in a bamboo Airbnb in Ubud, a town in Bali. "We live in a house which is architecturally amazing (made of bamboo with key walls and foundations in polished concrete). There are no barriers between the inside and the outside world," Corinne told Insider.

"We live in the middle of the rice fields and are totally disconnected from the world we came from. We thought that might freak us and the boys out, but instead, it feels totally natural and normal," she continued.


The crew of the Polarstern is literally stuck in the Arctic ice, but that didn't prevent the coronavirus from reaching them.

The Polarstern has been locked in ice since October as part of a program called MOSAiC, and is focused on "sampling the ice, atmosphere and ocean in an attempt to understand the intricacies of the rapidly changing Arctic climate," according to Nature. In March, a crew-member tested positive for the coronavirus, leading to strict quarantine measures.


Four zookeepers at the Paradise Park in Cornwall, England, moved into the wildlife sanctuary in order to stay isolated and keep their animals fed.

BBC

At the end of March, four zookeepers moved into the zoo to isolate from the rest of the country, and provide for the animals that were still there. At the time, they were set to remain for 12 weeks, or three months.

"So the reason we've all moved into the park is just in case, worst comes to the worst, and we're the only four keepers in, hopefully we can keep all the animals fed and watered," one of the zookeepers told the BBC. "We're all really enjoying it, but obviously we're missing our families quite a lot, but it's really nice having our work family all here together."


Olivia and Raul De Freitas were all set to spend their six-day honeymoon in the Maldives. They were there for three weeks.

Olivia and Raul De Freitas

The couple was supposed to be at the five-star Cinnamon Velifushi Maldives for six days, but when the Covid-19 pandemic hit their home country of South Africa, they were left stranded at the resort for weeks. They ended up being the only guests.

"Being the only guests at the resort was lonely and fun at the same time," Raul and Olivia told Insider.

"We came back with a private charter that was self-funded by the 40-plus South African and Mauritian tourists that were stranded in the Maldives," they said. That private charter cost $104,000 (R1.8 million), which was divided among the passengers.


Thousands of people around the world were stuck on cruise ships that were refused entry at various ports.

The Miami Herald reported that there are at least 100,000 crew members that are still stranded aboard cruise ships as of May 22. While many passengers were able to disembark in April, most crew members were required to stay on the ships.

The best-known cruise ship that was stranded was the Diamond Princess. Passengers had to stay aboard for a month. Six people died, and there were 700 cases of the coronavirus.


British tourists were ordered to isolate in an abandoned Vietnamese hospital.

Roland Neveu/LightRocket/Getty Images

The three friends, Lucy Parker, Alice Parker, and Hanna Ahlberg, were tracked down after a passenger on their flight to Hanoi tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the BBC.

The BBC also reported that they were "taken to an abandoned hospital in Ninh Bình, north Vietnam, and ordered to stay isolated for a further 12 days." Alice said the hospital used to be a mental asylum, and that got "pretty scary at night."

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