‘I’m stuck in paradise’: Meet the man stranded on an island in the middle of lockdown
A British traveler has spoken of the isolation and restriction of being trapped on an island during a strict ban. (Daniel Worthington)
A British traveler spoke of his experience after being stranded on an island under severe closures during the coronavirus pandemic.
29-year-old Daniel Worthington from Manchester was on a world tour and had traveled the world for 18 months.
In March, he came to a friend's wedding on the Thai island of Phuket and checked in at a nearby Marriott hotel - but then the global COVID-19 outbreak began.
According to Worthington, life on the island became "quieter" before the subsequent closure "happened very quickly".
There was a strict curfew in Thailand - with legally prescribed rules. (Daniel Worthington)
The management slipped a letter under the door of his room every morning about new restrictions.
The traveler, who runs an online business, told Yahoo News UK: "One day it was said that the beaches would be closed, which is unknown here.
"The next day, restaurants and bars were closed and we had to vacate the premises. We had 24 hours notice and then the hotel was closed. It was a crazy panic to find anything anywhere."
All tourist visas have been extended and will remain unchanged until the end of July as Daniel found Airbnb accommodation.
But as soon as Worthington entered the property, a strict quarantine period came into force - and he felt uncertain about the future while literally in limbo.
Completely cut off from the mainland - and any means of transport to leave the country - he quickly found himself isolated.
"A curfew was introduced and police roadblocks came in, the Phuket mainland bridge was closed and the island airport was closed," he continued. "There is a supermarket in every district, but you don't go anywhere else.
“The uncertainty was pretty scary and affected me. The ability to not move - you realize that you are stuck and cannot move. A language and cultural barrier makes it even more insecure.
The curfew changed - at some point it was in effect between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. - but then the sale and consumption of alcohol was banned. "
Unlike the UK government, which advised people to stick to social detachment measures and for certain reasons to leave home during the closure, Worthington said that Thailand's stringent quarantine measures are being enforced and said, "They don't want to get caught if you break the rules here. "
He continued: "You are very tempted to go to the beach and they are incredible. I drove on a remote road but I saw a police lock and you are like" no chance ".
"It's not worth taking a risk if they show up and pounce on you - they can get to remote areas if the police use mopeds here - if they catch, I think they'll lock you up.
Daniel says he feels locked up and isolated - with no way out of Phuket Island until early July. (Daniel Worthington)
"My friend who got married - she's in a different district - said people who she knew had friends to have a drink. But the police ransacked the house and six people were thrown directly into prison and are still there.
"You can now walk into a quarter after a full month of closure, but there's not much to do as everything, including the beaches, remains closed."
Although Daniel enjoys the hot weather, he felt isolated and locked up with his family due to his imprisonment on the island - with no opportunity to leave Phuket until early July.
The streets of Phuket, which are usually full of tourists and activities, are completely deserted. (Daniel Worthington)
He said, "To get home, I signed up for the flight notification to the UK Embassy, but the flights come from Bangkok and not from Phuket and its 400 miles to Bangkok.
“In addition, the bridge to the mainland is still closed and Phuket Airport is closed.
"Even if the British government offered me help, I would basically not be able to get there."
The British traveler was given the option to leave his hotel only 24 hours in advance when the country's closure came into effect. (Daniel Worthington)
"I miss my family and. During this situation I felt like I was in paradise, but I really want to go home. What I miss most is British food - definitely no weather, I didn't miss that. But I miss family and friends really, ”he added.
"The thing about traveling is that you meet people and find friends, but then you are gone and you don't know when - or if - you'll see them again. Life is really fleeting - I'm in limbo right now.
"People always tell me that I am living the dream - it is the best thing that has ever existed, but the hardest thing is to settle down, and then you are in the unknown again.
"I'm glad I came, but I don't want to do it again, I was really isolated. Hopefully there is no second wave of the virus. "
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