First virus-free guests abandon blocked Spanish island hotel

Health personnel wearing protective clothing assist guests as they leave the H10 Costa Adeje Palace hotel in La Caleta, in the Canary Island of Tenerife, Spain, Friday Feb. 28, 2020. Some guests have started to leave the locked down hotel after undergoing screening for the new virus that is infecting hundreds worldwide. (AP Photo/Joan Mateu)

Selected guests started to leave a locked-down Canary Islands hotel Friday after undergoing screening for the virus that has spread from China to most corners of the world.

Health officials on Spain’s Canary Islands said that 130 of tourists held at the H10 Costa Adeje Palace this week would be leaving in groups. The cleared vacationers arrived at the Tenerife hotel after four people who tested positive for the coronavirus there already were hospitalized.

Nobody else from the either, whether guests or hotel employees, has been found infected, authorities said. But 600 holidaymakers from a total of 25 countries are to complete a 14-day quarantine.

Reporters saw several families and couples having their temperatures checked Friday morning by what appeared to be medical personnel wearing protective outfits.

The departing hotel guests wore face masks and appeared to sign documents before boarding a van loaded with suitcases.

Beyond the Canary Islands, Spain experienced a significant uptick in the number of virus cases this week, with a total of 30 reported as of midday Friday.

Although most cases have been connected to the new coronavirus cluster in northern Italy, authorities are investigating the source of contagion for at least three of the newest patients, including a 77-year-old in serious condition, who had not traveled abroad.

Authorities said they traced some cases in eastern Spain to two soccer fans and a sports reporter who accompanied Valencia’s team to Milan for a Champions League match. The club said Friday that it was suspending all non-sports indoor events, including press conferences, that “could be a risk for the players, coaches and club employees.”


Source: Associated Press – JOAN MATEU and ARITZ PARRA