Gambia Experience passengers, who were quarantined this afternoon upon landing at the Banjul International Airport, had broken down the gate of the Golden Beach hotel to enter town, Freedom Newspaper can reveal. The flight which came from Birmingham, United Kingdom, had about thirty one passengers onboard. It landed at the Banjul international airport around 3:45 PM Banjul time. The quarantined travelers weren’t happy with the conditions of the hotel and they decided to walk away. They are currently scattered in town. Some of them were on transit to Senegal. Senegal has closed its airport for direct flights. Senegalese nationals residing overseas now use Banjul as a route to visit their native country. They travel by land upon landing in The Gambia.
A concerned family member who spoke to the Freedom Newspaper said: “We are very worried. My husband arrived in Gambia today with Gambia Experience at around 3:45.
They were kept in the bus shuttle to the terminal for 1 hr, then took them inside the airport to a very uncomfortable place without food or drink for another 3 hours , then transported them to a hotel that is very dusty and dirty.”
“It seems that the hotel was not in use for a long time. The hotel is called Golden Beach Hotel. The hotel is in a bad condition. I was told by one of the local staff that the hotel has not been in operation for years. This is the place they want to quarantine the travellers for 14 days,” the family member remarked.
The disgruntled passengers were told on arrival that they were going to be met by the Health Minister or an official of the government. They were at the hotel for hours without seeing the Health Minister or an official of The Gambian government.
As tempers flared up, the quarantined Gambia Experience passengers decided to flee from the quarantine hotel site. They were seen standing outside the hotel, while making noise. They later resorted to breaking the hotel gate.
As we file this report, the fleeing passengers have not been tested for the Coronavirus—COVID-19 pandemic. They are in town untested.
Flights are allowed into The Gambia, but interestingly, the incoming flights would return to their destination of origin without passengers, as most European countries had suspended incoming flights to their nations.
Health Ministry officials could not be reached for comment. Gambia Experience officials could also be reached for comment.