31st March 2020

In_pictures Coronavirus: I’m stuck in a hotel in Tenerife after Spain lockdown

In_pictures Coronavirus: I’m stuck in a hotel in Tenerife after Spain lockdown

In_pictures

in_pictures Sandy Murray

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Sandy Murray is among tourists not allowed to leave the hotel in Puerto de la Cruz

BBC Scotland journalist Sandy Murray was on holiday in Tenerife when the Spanish government imposed a lockdown in the fight against the coronavirus outbreak. He is now stuck in a hotel waiting for a flight home.

It started normally enough as a winter holiday in the sun of Tenerife. When we arrived in the bustling little tourist town of Puerto de la Cruz in the north of the island last week, it was everything you would expect with busy cafes, bars and shops.

The first hint of change came on Saturday. A Jet2 rep came to our hotel shortly after aircraft bringing tourists from the UK turned back mid-flight.

She was calm and professional but knew only that return flights would continue for at least a few days. An automated text later on Saturday said Jet2 intended to fly us back as scheduled on Friday.

For the rest of that day the town was busy as normal although one cafe worker said he didn’t expect to be open the next day.

He was right.

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Sandy Murray

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The view from the balcony show there are few people on the streets of Puerto de la Cruz

That evening we were in the hotel bar. There was live music and it was busy with residents and people from other hotels.

Mid-evening the doors were literally barred and non-residents asked to leave.

On Sunday morning we took a short walk. Very little was open but people were free to move about on the streets. By afternoon, that had changed. Local officials were touring in cars with speakers asking people to stay indoors.

One older resident from our hotel went to a pharmacy – one of the few reasons allowed for tourists to venture out.

She made the mistake of stopping to take some pictures and almost immediately police pulled up and asked her to keep moving. So now we really are confined to the hotel.

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Sandy Murray

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A notice in a Tenerife hotel advises people they can only leave the building in limited circumstances

The staff, all of them worried about their future, are doing a great job of looking after us.

The hotel bar and restaurant are open as normal for guests.

But as of today, the pool and terrace are closed. Our hotel staff believe that is one of the things they have to do under the lockdown rules.

But such is the confusion about the new regulations, the hotel next to us has all its public spaces open.

So as we sit on our balcony, the only outdoor space available to us, we can at least watch other people enjoying the sun by the pool.

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Sandy Murray

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The pool at Sandy’s hotel is closed but it is open at the hotel next door

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