“Unfair!” This is the general feeling among the residents at Palms Hotel, Quatre Bornes. These people had no clue they would be forcefully quarantined upon arrival on Saturday, following the announcement that all flights to and from South Africa will be suspended.
The passengers consist mainly of Mauritian citizens and residence permit holders coming back home. The flight itself took ages to depart from South Africa, given the protocol. All tourists were asked by Air Mauritius to sign a disclaimer form prior to boarding to discharge the airline of any responsibility of the consequences following the flight suspension announcement. However, passengers were not informed of the compulsory quarantine upon arrival.
And this is not the only woe faced by them. Upon arrival, they claimed they were left on their own, without any clue what was going on, with police officers taking control of the arrival hall. There was initially no clear communication, leading to more frustration and exasperation.
They were all tested at SSR Airport, and later told they would have to head for Palms Hotel in Quatre Bornes for quarantine.
Many protested but they had no choice. They offered to self-isolate at home since they were all residents but their request was not considered. Elderly passengers were taken to Voila, from where they had a chance to transfer to Veranda. Requests from other passengers to be transferred to veranda were turned down. The passengers claim there were some ‘rich and mighty’ among them but they disappeared from sight…
Life at Palms Hotel is not easy. Residents say they are stuck in their rooms as they are not allowed to move around. While the hotel is decent, some are not happy with the living conditions. The staff is said to be friendly but no beer is allowed! Residents are restricted from meeting each other, so they communicate mainly through a Whatsapp group quickly set up to share their experience.
The nurse at Palms told residents that they were all negative. All the passengers claim they are fully vaccinated and most of them even got their booster dose. None of them had any symptoms. They claimed they had strictly followed all sanitary protocols during their stay in South Africa. Ki-News spoke to a few residents who say they feel suffocated, confined to a room in the town centre and this is having an impact on their mental well-being.
All they wish now is for the authorities to allow them go and self-isolate at home as soon as possible…
COMMUNIQUE FROM THE MINISTRY OF HEALTH AND WELLNESS
Deputy Prime Minister denies his daughter was on the flight
Following rumours that the daughter of a senior minister was on the flight from Johannesburg on Saturday and she was allowed to go home without quarantine, Deputy prime Minister Steven Obeegadoo issued a communique in which he strongly denies the allegation.
“I deny this in the most categorical manner and would like to precise that no member of my family has visited or transited through South Africa in the recent past. These allegations are false, malicious and have as objective to attack my reputation and cause harm to my family. I reserve the right to take appropriate legal action against anyone publishing or circulating this false news.”