Just yesterday, my friend told me, “Yaar, abhi Goa me phasey hotey toh acha hota na?” TBH, the past 2 weeks have been very difficult, so coming up with such dreamy ideas is expected. But ask those who have been stuck in paradise all thanks to the COVID-19 restriction.
A South African couple has been trapped on a seemingly endless honeymoon at a five-star resort in the Maldives ever since both South Africa and the Maldives were put under travel restrictions due to COVID-19 threat, reported Mail Online. Sounds amazing? Well, “It only sounds good,” says the couple.
Olivia and Raul De Freitas who reached the Maldives on March 22, hoping to enjoy their six-day honeymoon, are still stranded in the paradise, over two weeks later. As the couple were getting ready to depart, they checked with their travel agent due to the travel restriction imposed in other countries. However, they were assured that they would be able to return home despite growing concerns over travel restrictions. Hence, they should enjoy their trip, said the New York Times. However, this hasn’t been the case.
The newlywed South African citizens were on the fourth day of their honeymoon when they were informed that their country’s airports would be closed by midnight the next day, following the strict lockdown. And there was no way they could have made it on time as they would have had to take an hour-and-a-half speedboat ride to the main island, then a five-hour flight to Qatar, a three-hour layover, and finally a nine-hour journey to Johannesburg, said a report by People.
The 27-year-old teacher Olivia said:
“Everyone says they want to be stuck on a tropical island until you’re actually stuck. It only sounds good because you know you can leave.”
While most of us would enjoy all the attention from the hotel staff and love being the only people on an island, the couple didn’t actually have a choice. Since they were the last guests at the resort, the staff had to been retained who now give their full attention to them. The room service staff has been checking on them five times a day. They have been provided with fancy candlelit dinner on the beach, while performers put up a show for the two audiences.
The couple did manage to get help from the nearby South African Embassy, however, they were suggested to take a chartered jet that reportedly costs $104,000 (Rs.79,00,000 approx) if they wanted to go back home. Even though the resort offered them a heavy discount, the lavish honeymoon, (usually costing $750 (Rs 57,000 per night) of the teacher and the 28-year-old butcher has already started eating up their savings. Hence, the couple didn’t consider that idea.
“It’s incredible that we get this extra time,” Olivia said, however, it’s burning a huge hole in their pockets with every passing day, said reports.
However, last week they were offered a speedboat that transported them to a different five-star resort where nearly two-dozen other South Africans were stranded in the Maldives. The local government has reportedly offered to take care of a large chunk of the cost of their stay.
South Africa’s lockdown is set to last until April 16, while the couple is still stranded on the island. Hope, they reach home safely. There’s nothing better than being at home at such crucial times.