COVID-19 strands P.E.I. women in Spain

Two Prince Edward Islanders vacationing in Spain are stuck in their vacation rental following the sudden lockdown of the country.

Women are comfortable in their vacation rental

The normally busy Balcon de Europa in Nerja was virtually deserted Saturday night after the state of emergency announcement in Spain. (Berni Wood)

Two Prince Edward Islanders vacationing in Spain are stuck in their vacation rental following the sudden lockdown of the country.

Berni Wood and Brenda MacDonald landed there early in March for a month-long holiday. On Saturday Spain declared a state of emergency. Only grocery stores and pharmacies are open, and people are only allowed to go out to make necessary purchases there.

On a typical day Balcon de Europa is crowded with tourists. (Berni Wood)

"It was unbelievable how fast it happened. It's just unbelievable how quickly the situation here changed," said MacDonald.

"We were hearing about a cluster outside of Madrid and a few odd cases here and there, to all of a sudden it just steamrolled so fast and then the next thing we know we're hearing within 24 hours that we can't even go outside."

The two are staying in Nerja, a tourist town on the Costa del Sol. The landscape of the town changed rapidly. The popular Balcon de Europa, a promenade overlooking the Mediterranean, was packed with people Friday, they said. On Saturday night there were only five or six people there. On Sunday, which was supposed to be the last day they were allowed out, they tried to take a walk but police told them to go home.

They said they were able to get out and stock up with wine and food.

Brenda MacDonald had already planned to stay in Spain for the month. (Berni Wood)

"We're both very calm people so we're staying calm," said MacDonald.

"We have a lovely apartment and we have kitchen facilities so we can cook and we have laundry facilities. We have a beautiful deck — it's very private — that we can hang out on when it's nice, and hope we can stay away from the virus."

Berni Wood is booked to fly back to Canada through the U.S., and may have to find a new route home. (Brenda MacDonald)

The vacation rental was already booked to the end of the month, so MacDonald and Wood have some time before they have to worry about getting back to Canada. Wood is booked to fly through the U.S., which would not be possible under current U.S. restrictions, but they are hopeful they have time to work out an alternative.

COVID-19: What you need to know

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Common symptoms include:

  • Fever.
  • Cough.
  • Tiredness.

But more serious symptoms can develop, including difficulty breathing and pneumonia, which can lead to death.

What should I do if I feel sick?

Isolate yourself and call your local public health authority. Do not visit an emergency room or urgent care centre to get tested.

How can I protect myself?

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Be aware of evolving travel advisories to different regions.

More detailed information on the outbreak is available on the federal government's website.

More from CBC P.E.I.

With files from Travis Kingdon


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