When UK couple Sam and Chloe arrived in Malta yesterday they were greeted with mandatory self-quarantine, the chance of €1,000 fine and the possibility of paying for a hotel for two-weeks instead of two days, all thanks to coronavirus.
However, following immense support from the Maltese community and authorities, the couple is able to enjoy what little time they have left in the country before returning home to the UK tomorrow.
“A big thank you to everyone who has helped, brought us some food and offered so many different lovely things, we really really appreciate it,” Chloe said in a Facebook post.
18-year-old Sam and 17-year-old Chloe flew over yesterday when Prime Minister Robert Abela imposed a mandatory quarantine period of 14 days for everyone who travels to the island from overseas as a precautionary measure against COVID-19.
They two had no choice but to lock themselves in their hotel room, which they believed would be for the next two weeks, a problematic and life-threatening circumstance given that Sam is a type 1 diabetic.
However, once news of their situation made headlines yesterday, the Maltese community came together in an act of solidarity and to do their very best to ensure that the young couple is taken care of and can keep it home asap.
“We’ve gotten a lot of help from restaurant managers and from a lot of people in Malta really,” Chloe told Lovin Malta.
Despite initial beliefs that the hotel would charge the couple for a two-week stay under quarantine, the outcome was quite the opposite.
“We managed to speak to a very kind manager and they have found us a room with a sea view and that actually gets sun,” said Chloe.
“If that wasn’t good news already, the manager has kindly offered us a week stay in Malta for when the virus and everything else is under control and has apologised for all of the things we have been through.”
“It has been such a nightmare, sitting in a room crying and wanting to come home and our prayers have finally been answered! Fingers crossed this good luck will continue.”
It wasn’t just the hotel that reached out to the young couple with a helping hand, it was the wider Maltese community too.
“Locals have also shown their support, asking if there is anything we can do, giving us important phone numbers etc. The support has been overwhelming,” said Sam.
Someone even got in touch with the couple to offer them a lift to the airport tomorrow.
“Again, a big thank you for the hundreds of messages and calls and people offering all sorts of help for Sam’s condition. I’m so grateful for everything and it really has shown how nice people can be even if they don’t know you. Thank you.”
The couple is expected to board their flight back to Malta as originally planned. Although they didn’t get to see as much of the island as they would like, rest assured they can go back home with plenty of stories to tell.