Quarantined: Blanco County man stranded in Portugal after contracting COVID-19

AUSTIN (KXAN) —A trip abroad should be an enjoyable experience, but what if you get COVID-19?

When Peter Barbour caught the travel bug, he decided that Portugal would be the perfect destination, but when he caught COVID-19 on that trip, he was stranded.

“They placed me in a beautiful hotel, it was called Villa Gale,” Barbour said. “I was on the 16th floor. A beautiful view of West Porto and the Atlantic Ocean. The sun went down every day outside my window, but after eight days of it I got a little old.”

On Peter’s last day in Portugal, he was to be tested for COVID-19 before returning home to Texas. He took the test and waited for the results.

“I got a phone call that said you can not get on the excursion this morning, you have to stay in your room where you tested positive,” Barbour said.

He was forced to quarantine for 11 days.

Peter says his insurance company called a taxi to pick him up and checked him into a hotel, his bags were also cleaned and transported. For 11 days he was unable to leave his room.

“This insurance covered the entire stay at the hotel each night and three meals a day,” said Barbour, who never experienced any COVID-19 symptoms. “I went in a circle 10 feet in diameter and ate those three meals a day. I probably put on 10 pounds.”

Cristina Herrera runs, Travel Muse, a travel agency in Austin, she says it is important to get a travel insurance, especially during the pandemic. If you do not get it, you can pay a lot more than you had planned, especially if you are going to be quarantined or if you are going to the hospital.

“It’s a really careful and smart thing to do is to buy a travel insurance and make sure it has some coverage or expenses if quarantine comes up,” Herrera said.

“There’s a lot more preparation involved because each country has their own requirements as far as COVID is concerned and you have to test to get back to the US so there is more planning involved,” Herrera said.

Peter says he has never shown any COVID-19 symptoms.

Peter was hoping to return to the United States to finish his book “Charles Dickens’ American Road Show: Based on the Journal and the Letters of William Nathanial Price.” He says that even though he had to be quarantined, he could, when he returned, start working on his book again.


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