The holidays have turned into a nightmare for six travelers from 66 to 70 years, who have experienced the total containment in Spain for a week, before returning to Quebec city.
All members of the same family, Jacques Faucher, Denise Boivin, Claudie and Suzanne Drolet as well as Claude and Hélène Lamothe have landed in Spain on 5 march, where they were to stay until the end of the month. On 14 march, however, before the explosion in the number of cases of COVID-19 in Spain, the group was forced to isolate himself in his apartment in Torrox near Malaga.
“The stress was at its maximum. We lived in two by two, in three different accommodation options. At a certain point, we could no longer see themselves as a group. There, it has been more difficult. The measures were tightened a lot. Every day – every hour almost! – there was something that changed,” says Hélène Lamothe.
The sextet has contacted her travel agency in the hope to embark soon on a direct flight to Montreal. But this option was not available. To return to the country, the group had to separate and make multiple stops.
“We refused what we offered, because we wanted to stay together and help each other if we had problems. And the flights that we proposed were passing through different airports, and that there would be even more [the spread of the virus], ” explains Claude Lamothe.
Worried for the traveler, their children, alerted the media, and parliamentarians on their situation, in addition to trying to find return flights. “We, down here, that we secured to know that. We felt a support from the outside,” says Hélène Lamothe, who salutes the work of the quebec authorities in the crisis.
At the end of a few days, the son of Claude Lamothe has finally managed to find six tickets on a go Malaga-Montreal. On 22 march in the morning, the travellers reach the airport by taxi.
At any time, employees of the airport reminded of the safety precautions – including social distancing to avoid the spread of the coronavirus and to identify its symptoms. “They were severe for the respect of distances. But it was good,” he says.
In the plane, the passengers were ordered to remain at their seats and do not congregate, it was more difficult to meet the famous meter distance. At a certain point, even, the staff asked if there was a doctor on board. Two people “very old” would have lost consciousness during the vol., “The stress was turned up a notch. There was someone sick, it was clear,” says Hélène Lamothe.
Nothing in Montreal
At their exit of the apparatus, in Montreal, no measure was put in place to deal with the pandemic, cry out traveler. “It is as if the employees were not even aware of the risks,” she says. “It was hell, people wanted to take their luggage and leave as early as possible. The people were bonded to each other,” adds his brother.
The group was able to rent a car to make the drive from Montreal to Quebec city, before separating into three groups and begin the isolation of 14 days. Relatives of the passengers were busy with their grocery shopping. “We are very aware of and it is with people-friendly guidelines,” says Claude Lamothe, who is delighted that none of his comrades do not present symptoms of the COVID-19 currently.