A trip to the sun of a Trifluvienne that ends badly

A trip to the sun of a Trifluvienne that ends badly

UPDATE DAY

Declared positive for COVID-19 the day before her return from Cuba, a woman from Trois-Rivières was sent to quarantine in deplorable conditions. She now wishes to warn travelers tempted to go warm up in the sun. 

Laurianne Gagné will remember her first experience in the south all her life. The 22-year-old traveled on December 21 to Cayo Coco on the wings of Sunwing. The trip was going like clockwork, but everything changed the day before her return when she was told she was positive for COVID-19.

She, who was traveling with a friend, must be sent to quarantine alone. This is when the nightmare begins. “They came to get me at nightfall. Nobody told me anything, I had no instructions and they dropped me off at the back of a hotel. I was really scared.”

The law student was transported to a dilapidated tourist building transformed into a “hospital hotel” during her quarantine. On site, Laurianne asked for help, but she never heard from her Sunwing representative. “In the six days that I was there, I was not able to speak to him. It's annoying because when I arrived on December 21 I asked what would happen if I tested positive, and he told me that there was no case here.”

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There, she had to sleep in the same room as three strangers. She claims the food was so bad that she lost between five and ten pounds. She had to make do most of the time with boiled eggs, cold meats, apples, bread and sausage. Not to mention that she had to wait two days before receiving toilet paper and soap. “Lucky that travelers in quarantine helped us otherwise we had nothing. We also had to keep garbage in the room for days.”

Bogus medical consultation fees were even charged. A nightmare she wishes on no one. “I knew the risks and I believed that everything would be fine anyway. I want to tell people that it's really not a good idea to travel.”

However, the situation has changed in recent days. Faced with bad press and complaints from travellers, Cuba stopped operating hospital-hotels at the start of the week, underlines Justin Bordeleau, vice-president of Rainbow Travel. “Travelers can now stay in the same complex and “COVID-19” wings have been moved in. “It will reduce the number of bad experiences,” noted Mr. Bordeleau.

According to the vice-president, a dozen of his clients are currently in quarantine in the South and everything would be fine. But the problem was such in the last few weeks that we even received calls for help from people who were not customers. “These are people who had booked online and who wanted our help. Unfortunately, they have to rely on their carrier and it's more laborious these days.”

These mishaps mean, according to Mr. Bordeleau, that customers will turn more to agencies to avoid unpleasant surprises. A balm on 22 months of misery for the industry, he said.

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