Three British Friends Held In Quarantine In Italy Test Positive For Coronavirus A Seventh Time
Three British mates are being quarantined in Italy after testing positive for coronavirus for a seventh time.
Rhys James, 23, Quinn Paczesny, 20, and Will Castle, 22, had been teaching English in Florence when they began to show symptoms and were taken to hospital.
They have now been in isolation since 17 August.
If they wish to go home, doctors have told the trio that they must produce two consecutive negative tests 24 hours apart.
It's understood that none of the lads have shown any symptoms since 19 August and one specialist even said they would probably not spread the disease to others.
This has left the group, from Pembroke Dock, Sheffield, Brighton, respectively, 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."
They are also sceptical of the accuracy of the tests they have received while in Italy after being told of failings in the system leading to delays.
And 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.
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"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."
Adding: "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."
The group have been sent to three different facilities of the past few months, and have to video call each other, which can be difficult because of the WiFi connection.
Food is reportedly left outside their rooms by people wearing hazmat suits, with complaints being made a
They are now fearful that they may not make it back home for Christmas and Will has pleaded with the UK government to do everything they can to get them out of Italy.
He told the Sunday Times: "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.'"
Despite their please, however, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office spokesperson said it was unable to expedite their return.
A spokesperson for the FCDO told the Daily Mail: "FCDO Consulate staff are supporting three British men in quarantine in Italy and are in regular contact with them.
"The length of quarantine is based on local measures to control the spread of Covid-19, but we have raised concerns about their food, rooms and medical issues directly with the Italian authorities, and will continue to do all we can to help them while complying with local requirements."
Featured Image Credit: Will Castle
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