British friends stuck in 'eternal hell' at Italian coroanvirus centre

Three British friends say they are stuck in ‘eternal hell’ as they are held against their will in quarantine detention centre in Italy after they caught Covid while teaching English

  • Will Castle, Rhys James, and Quinn Paczesny were teaching English in Florence 
  • All three of them contracted Covid-19 and were moved to a coronavirus centre 
  • They have described the living conditions as like being in an ‘eternal hell’
  • The trio are now calling on the UK government to help repatriate them  

Three British friends who caught Covid-19 while teaching English in Italy have said they are stuck in ‘eternal hell’ as they are held against their will in a quarantine detention centre. 

Will Castle, 22, Rhys James, 23 and Quinn Paczesny, 20, were teaching English in Florence when they tested positive for coronavirus on August 17.  

They were escorted from hospital to a coronavirus centre and placed in small separate rooms where they face being stuck indefinitely.  

Will Castle, 22, Rhys James, 23 and Quinn Paczesny, 20, were teaching English in Florence when they tested positive for coronavirus on August 17

In Italy, patients must test negative for coronavirus twice at least 24 hours apart before they can leave quarantine. 

The trio’s meals, which sometimes consist only of mozzarella cheese and carrots, are left outside their rooms by staff in hazmat suits. 

Meanwhile they are forced to wash their clothes in the bathroom sink, using only shampoo.  

The top have said they feel “abandoned” after being kept in quarantine for a month in an Italian coronavirus facility, pictured above

The three men, who have been transferred to three separate facilities over the past five months, are now calling on the UK government to help them leave the country and be repatriated, with fears growing they could still be there at Christmas time. 

‘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,’ Castle, from Haywards Heath, West Sussex, told the Sunday Times. 

‘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.’ 

According to Castle, one of his friends suffers from Celiac disease but despite this his dietary requirements have not been properly catered for and he has on occasion been forced to eat food containing gluten. 

‘The pastoral care has just been really rubbish,’ he told Metro.co.uk.  

The three friends often video-call each other to boost their mood, but they say the WiFi connection can be poor. 

The only interaction they have with others is when a cleaner, in a hazmat suit, comes to disinfect their rooms. 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 three friends often video-call each other to boost their mood, but they say the WiFi connection can be poor

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has previously warned against requiring two negative tests before releasing people from quarantine, warning it could result in ‘long periods of isolation…affecting individual well-being’. 

The trio are tested for Covid-19 every Monday and so far, they have tested positive each week. They put this down to ‘dead coronavirus cells’ that have remained in their systems. 

 The Foreign Office 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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