Rutland couple face a second round of isolation after their holiday to Lanzarote was cut short by a coronavirus lockdown
A couple who were forced to cut short their holiday when Lanzarote went into lockdown have returned home to face a second round of isolation.
Allan and Lorna Grey flew out for a three-week holiday on March 12 but returned home just nine days later.
Within 24 hours of arriving on the island, the resort started to close down and their flights home were soon cancelled.
The couple spent eight days in isolation before catching Jet 2’s last flight away from the island on Saturday.
Allan said: “It had crossed our minds whether or not we should go, but at the time it seemed okay to do so as the island didn’t have any cases of coronavirus.
“The day we arrived everything was tickety-boo but we did our first shop the next day and the supermarket was chaos with trolleys overflowing. It took 30 minutes to get through the checkout.”
Over the next few days the pools, bars and beaches were closed and everyone ordered to stay inside.
Allan added: “The police were around very quickly after lockdown and people were being stopped and fined.”
However the widespread panic quickly subsided and the couple hopes the UK will follow suit after stricter measures were announced on Monday.
Lorna said: “This is the second time around for us. In Lanzarote life went from normal to panic and then fairly quickly returned to civilised.
“You could go to the supermarket and get anything you needed. I’m hoping the idiots here will calm down shortly and realise there is still food out there.”
Alan added: “A lot of Asian countries have a more authoritarian approach than us and are better prepared to listen and obey the rules.”
The couple faced one final challenge to get home safely when taxi firms introduced a ‘one passenger’ rule.
The Greys rented a car and Lorna lay across on the back seat “like a Bond girl hiding from my attackers”as they drove to the airport.
Luckily they faced nothing more than a stern word from a policeman who told Allan: “Wife, she must no sleep on back seat”.
The couple are now self-isolating at home in Oakham as they both fall into the high-risk category for covid-19.
They are embracing all available technology to keep in touch with family and friends.
Lorna said: “When the wars were on people didn’t see their families for years, so we’re very lucky to be able to have video conferences with our family.”
They are also helping to home-school their grandchildren with online lessons.
Unfortunately this is all happening from the discomfort garden furniture as their three-piece suite was sent off to be reupholstered before their holiday and won’t now be back for some time to come.
Lorna joked: “So much for being prepared!”
- Another couple, from near Stamford, who wish to remain anonymous, said they arrived in Spain on March 7 and then saw a sudden change from people being relaxed about coronavirus to the hospitals being overwhelmed and businesses shutting down. Due to fly back on Wednesday this week, they cut short their trip and fled to the airport where EasyJet was able to offer them an early flight home. Since returning they have remained in self-quarantine for 14 days. “We were fortunate to get out when we did,” they said.
More by this authorAndrea Scholes