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Coronavirus: Fears for daughter in quarantine in Taiwan Coronavirus: Fears for daughter in quarantine in Taiwan
(about 2 hours later)
The mother of a British woman quarantined in Taiwan because of the coronavirus outbreak said she was being kept "in prison-like conditions".The mother of a British woman quarantined in Taiwan because of the coronavirus outbreak said she was being kept "in prison-like conditions".
Natalie Dawson, 28, arrived with her partner Rohan Pixley on 14 March.Natalie Dawson, 28, arrived with her partner Rohan Pixley on 14 March.
They had a few days there when they were told they had to go into quarantine and the 14-day period started from the day you landed. Jill Weaver, from Leicestershire, said that a few days later they were separated and "incarcerated".
Her mother said they began quarantine on 18 March but on the same day were taken to a facility in an ambulance. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Taiwan disputed the claims, saying the pair had been quarantined with their consent, and were not "locked in".
Jill Weaver, from Quorn, Leicestershire, said they had been separated and "incarcerated" with basic food. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said it was assisting a British woman in quarantine who had "raised concerns about the conditions she is in".
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said it was working with officials to release the couple. The couple left the UK on 13 March with the initial intention of staying in Taiwan before attending a wedding in Australia.
As the situation worsened while in Taiwan, they cancelled their trip to Australia.
Mrs Weaver, from Quorn, said the pair tried to get a flight home at this point but were unable to, so they went into quarantine at their hotel on 18 March.
But she said that on the same day they were taken - without explanation - to a facility in an ambulance, separated and given basic food.
"They are locked in and they can't get out," Mrs Weaver said."They are locked in and they can't get out," Mrs Weaver said.
"One man brings them food three times a day. But it is of poor quality and meagre portions."One man brings them food three times a day. But it is of poor quality and meagre portions.
"The room is filthy. She has no hot water and nowhere to wash her clothes."The room is filthy. She has no hot water and nowhere to wash her clothes.
"They have to quarantine, which is fine. We aren't disputing that. It is the conditions they are being held in.""They have to quarantine, which is fine. We aren't disputing that. It is the conditions they are being held in."
'Just awful' 'Really struggling'
The couple left the UK on 13 March with the initial intention of staying in Taiwan before attending a wedding in Australia.
As the situation worsened while in Taiwan, they cancelled their trip to Australia.
Mrs Weaver said the pair tried to get a flight home at this point but were unable to, so they went into quarantine at their hotel on 18 March.
On the same day, Mrs Weaver said they were taken away in an ambulance to a quarantine facility and not told why.
"She's a very strong woman mentally, she's done a lot of travelling worldwide, but she's really struggling with this," Mrs Weaver added."She's a very strong woman mentally, she's done a lot of travelling worldwide, but she's really struggling with this," Mrs Weaver added.
"I feel guilty sitting in the garden because I can sit outside, but she can't."I feel guilty sitting in the garden because I can sit outside, but she can't.
"It's not right they are being kept like that. It's just awful.""It's not right they are being kept like that. It's just awful."
Mrs Weaver said her daughter had celiac disease, meaning she needed a special diet which those feeding her were now accommodating.Mrs Weaver said her daughter had celiac disease, meaning she needed a special diet which those feeding her were now accommodating.
The couple are due to leave isolation on Saturday when they will be expected to pay £6.25 each per night to cover the cost of their food. The couple were told their 14-day quarantine period started from the day they landed.
A spokeswoman for the FCO said they were assisting a British woman in quarantine. They are due to leave isolation on Saturday when they will be expected to pay £6.25 for each per night to cover the cost of their food.
"Our consular staff are in regular contact with her and have raised her concerns about the conditions she is in with the Taiwanese authorities," she said. 'Not prison-like conditions'
The Taipei representative office in the UK has been approached for comment. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Taiwan said the couple had told authorities they could not afford to continue their quarantine stay in a hotel, so they were placed in a local quarantine centre "with their consent".
"While its facilities may not be comparable to a hotel in comfort, they are not 'prison-like conditions', nor are people living at the center locked in," a MOFA statement said.
"The center had initially arranged for the couple to reside separately in accommodations equipped with washroom facilities not to be shared with anyone else. However, the hot water heater in the accommodation assigned to the woman was found to be faulty. After she made this known, she was given a better equipped room.
"The center then arranged for designated shower facilities for her to ensure both privacy and convenience, and in line with its plans concerning quarantined individuals.
"The woman had requested permission to share a room with her boyfriend, but as this would defeat the principles underlying quarantine, and as the center wishes to prevent avenues for the disease to spread, her request was denied."
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said it was working with officials to release the couple.
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