THREE Brits held in Covid quarantine in Italy fear there is no end in sight after they tested positive for a sixth straight week.
Pals Will Castle, 22, Rhys James, 23 and Quinn Paczesny, 20, were teaching English in Florence when they tested positive for the coronavirus on August 17.
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They were then taken from hospital to a coronavirus centre and put in small, separate rooms and are not allowed to leave, even for exercise.
Patients who have tested positive for the virus must test negative for the coronavirus twice at least 24 hours apart before they are allowed to leave Italy.
The three are regularly tested every Monday but have so far tested positive every week – which they say is because of “dead coronavirus cells” that have stayed in their system.
They fear they could still be stuck in Italy at Christmas and want theUK government to help them return home.
Will, from Haywards Heath, West Sussex, said he hoped their ordeal might soon be coming to an end after it was made public a fortnight ago.
"But the situation hasn’t changed at all," he told Metro.
"It’s very difficult to stay optimistic when it feels like there’s no hope of getting out and the test results are not what they should be.
"We don’t know how much to trust the system. We are looking into private testing, we want to know if the results are accurate.
"If the cost is excessive we won’t be able to do it, one of us is a student and two of us are unemployed."
Their meals, which can consist just of potatoes, mozzarella cheese and carrots, are left outside their rooms by staff in hazmat suits.
They are forced to wash their clothes in the bathroom sink, using only shampoo.
"It’s draining. The thing that has developed for me is just general apathy. I am struggling to find a distraction method that works," said Will.
"We are still not allowed to leave our rooms, We feel completely powerless, there is nothing we are given control over."
The only in-person interaction they have with others is when a cleaner, in a hazmat suit, comes to disinfect their rooms.
"The doctor can come and do health checks when they want, the cleaner can come in whenever they want, there’s no routine or consistenc," said Will.
"People have said that’s a prisoner of war tactic. I would like some routine for my sanity more than anything else."
Wills says one of his friends suffers from Celiac disease but says his dietary needs have not been catered for and he has, at times, been forced to eat food containing gluten.
To keep their spirits up the three pals often video-call one another but they say the wifi connection can be poor.
Mr Paczesny, from Worksop, Nottinghamshire, said: “We are all in separate rooms, not allowed to leave these four walls. The meals are lacking in nutrition.”
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has previously warned against requiring two negative tests before releasing people from quarantine, saying it could result in “long periods of isolation… affecting individual well-being”.
The Foreign Office spokesperson said: “Our staff are in regular contact with the local health authorities about the cases, and have raised concerns with them about their dietary requirements.”
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