Fabio talks to Fanpage.it, one of the two 20-year-olds locked in quarantine in an airport bathroom in Finland because with Covid: “What a pain those insults”
Fabio and Valentina during their vacation in Finland
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“Now we are home and it doesn’t seem real to us.” They returned home yesterday morning, Thursday 6 January 2022, Fabio and Valentina, the two 20-year-old boys, he from Naples, she from Sardinia, stranded in Finland, after a holiday at Christmas, because they were infected by Covid. The two young people, immediately after the positive result of the swab made before the return flight on 27 December last, had been locked in the public toilet at the Helsinki airport in quarantine for many hours, before being transferred to a nearby hostel, where they spent home isolation until yesterday. Their story was told by Fanpage.it, who heard Fabio on his return. The two boys, both vaccinated with a double dose, had booked the holiday – a graduation gift – in unsuspecting times, on a Covid Free corridor.
Fabio, how were the first moments at the airport after receiving the positive result of the swab?
At first we were disconcerted by the responses received from the Farnesina and the Embassy, when we were still closed in the bathroom with no answers. Hours of waiting with automatic responders to then find themselves talking to people who had no knowledge of what their role should have been and improvised in statements such as: you must comply with the laws of Finland, who made you do it, you have been looking for it, I, my son, would not have let him go. Only then to discover that he was talking to a switchboard operator or an office with expertise on traffic, because the only number appointed to collect emergencies, the Crisis Unit of the Foreign Ministry, does not respond.
Your situation has aroused many reactions in Italy. What do you think?
“We want to thank all those who have given us a hand and have been close to us. Without their help we would have been confined to that out-of-this-world hostel with no assistance and no useful information for survival. I know our story has aroused a lot of indignation and frankly we too would not have expected so much approximation around an eventuality, all in all, quite probable given the moment. We at least hope that, having turned on a light on that unfortunate situation, he has avoided the same torture to those who have found themselves in the same situation after us.
When did you decide to leave for Finland?
The vacation, as repeatedly reiterated, had been booked since October when it seemed that the pandemic had been reduced by vaccines and the green-passes were a pass for everything.
How did you spend the last days of the quarantine?
The ten days inevitably passed with difficulty and above all onerousness. The costs have increased beyond belief. The swab in Finland costs 130 euros and we had to pay two. We have read nasty comments but we have also received a lot of solidarity. We have read about parliamentary questions made by representatives of the institutions. But, in the end, all is well that ends well.
When did you know that you could have returned to Italy?
Finnish law allows circulation regardless of the outcome of the swab after 10 days of quarantine. We went to the airport and did the control swab that would have allowed us to get on the plane and we were in suspense until the negative response arrived. At 5.30 yesterday, local time, we rushed to buy the ticket for the return, leaving this bad story behind. In the future we will try to focus our memories only on the holiday week which was otherwise wonderful. Too bad for the epilogue.