Three young Brits Rhys James, Quinn Paczesny and Will Castle are being quarantined in Italy after testing positive for Covid for a seventh time.
Three young Brits are being quarantined in Italy after testing positive for Covid for a seventh time.
Three Brits stranded following seventh positive Covid test
Rhys James, 23, Quinn Paczesny, 20, and Will Castle, 22, were in Florence teaching English when they were hospitalised having shown symptoms of the virus. They have now been in isolation since 17 August.
In order to fly home, Italian doctors have told them that they must produce two negative tests on consecutive days. None of the boys have shown any Covid symptoms since 19 August and one specialist even said that it was unlikely that they were still contagious. Therefore the boys are confused as to why they are being ‘held against their will’. Speaking about their situation, Rhys said: “The World Health Organisation guidelines say after 10 days of self-isolation, we can leave. We know the UK agrees with this yet Italy doesn’t. We don’t understand why the embassy and foreign office can’t do more to get us home when they believe that we are no longer contagious. My MP has not responded to me and the others’ MPs say that they can’t do much.”
The accuracy of the tests they have received while in Italy is also being scrutinised after being told of failings in the system. As a result of this, they are now trying to source private tests.
Rhys added: “Doctors told us the machine had broken. They said it had been overwhelmed over the week and had lots of problems. It doesn’t give us much hope to be honest, we’re wondering if it’s even valid. We all want negative results but we are worried we will test negative at different times. I’m relieved I have the same result as the other two, but gutted we all still tested positive. We know of one Brit who was in a similar situation to us. He kept testing positive for coronavirus in public facilities in Italy until he managed to get a private test. He then tested negative twice and could fly back to London. We are trying to apply for private tests, but we need help from the embassy to get them.”
It is possible that they may not even be able to return home for Christmas and Will has pleaded with the UK government to do everything they can to get them out of Italy by saying:
“What we are looking for is the Foreign Office – or whoever has the ability to get us out of here – to get in and repatriate us. We just want someone to take notice so we can return home. We can isolate there. We just want to continue our lives and not be stuck in this eternal hell. We could test negative next week, the week after, or never. We are literally at their mercy as to when we get to leave.”
The Foreign Office has replied to this request by saying that they do not have the power to expatriate the trio.