The ‘Maltese hell’ of 36 Spanish minors: from learning English to being trapped after four positives

Teens were traveling to learn English when they were confined in the aftermath of an outbreak

View of the balconies where minors are confinedTHE WORLD

Summer augured well for 36 Spanish teenagers who left to study English in Malta, but last Friday everything went wrong. Their parents had entrusted the minors between 14 and 17 years old, to the school Interway, a company specialized in trips to learn languages. They were accompanied by three monitors.

The minors, who share classes with a group of Italian students, were confined in the hotel Qwara Palace after appearing positive cases. “In the group of Italian children there were quite a few positives but in the group of Spanish there were only two,” said Juana (not her real name), the mother of one of the girls. The mother has assured that the first test that has been done to the minors has been just this Monday. That test has detected two more positives. “At the moment they present mild symptoms and are constantly supervised by our monitors,” the school said in a statement.

Interway assured that, after identifying the first Spanish positive by antigen test, “the doctor hired by the school recommended the preventive confinement of the entire group.” That same Friday night, according to the company, they sent the contact information of all the students at the request of the Maltese authorities. The next day, the island’s health authorities informed the school that all students were considered close contacts, for which they were obliged to carry out a quarantine. Nevertheless, the monitors, who also tested negative, “They are not quarantining,” according to Juana.

This group of adolescents was scheduled to return to Spain on July 20. “Now they say they have to be confined until the 23rd,” says Juana. This distraught mother, who communicates with the school and other parents through a WhatsApp group, assures that all they want “is to bring the children home” and stated that so far they have not been able to communicate with the embassy.

“I understand that the positive ones have to quarantine, but those that are negative should be able to go home to their parents,” he snapped. On the other hand, the school assured that “the students and their monitors will remain in the aforementioned hotel until their return, even if it is later than July 20.” For now, the school assured that the date communicated by the authorities is scheduled for July 22.

BAD CONDITIONS

The school assured that the entire stay of the students “is covered in the hotel, including full board.” However, Pepa (not her real name), one of the students, complains that, despite Interway’s statement in its statement that the hotel located in St. Paul’s Bay is four-star, they are not receiving adequate nutrition. “Breakfast is two cookies with two pieces of fruit and for lunch they only give us a ham and cheese sandwich, and dinner more of the same; they don’t give us anything else,” he narrated.

Breakfast
BreakfastTHE WORLD

In addition, according to their statements, the boys are bored since at the moment they do not receive classes nor can they leave the rooms. “We share three people in a room but each one is in different classes, I don’t know how we are going to do it,” he pointed out.

On the other hand, Juana affirmed that since the boys were in quarantine, “they did not clean their rooms, they were told to clean them but they have not been given a broom”, something that Interway will try to “resolve questions regarding administration, given that the COVID protocol in Malta absolutely restricts contacts with quarantined people, and this includes employees of the hotel where they are staying. “

The language school has ensured that its president will arrive tonight in Malta to “attend in situ in everything that is necessary “.


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