Ambulances are seen outside the hotel in Tenerife that is currently under lockdown. | Cristóbal García


"Everything is very quiet," says Briton Christopher Betts, one of more than 700 guests spending a second day in lockdown at a four-star Tenerife hotel on Wednesday after four cases of coronavirus were detected there among a group of Italians.

"We are fine, but pretty bored. We cannot go anywhere, just to the restaurants to have tea or coffee," Betts, from Leicestershire in central England, told Reuters by telephone.

"We had no news since we were tested for temperature yesterday."

Guests found out about the lockdown when they woke up on Tuesday morning via a note slipped below their door, he said. Confined to their room for the day, he and wife spent their time watching TV and surfing the internet, he said, but were looking forward to being allowed to use the hotel's pool and garden again on Wednesday.

The lockdown was imposed after an Italian doctor staying at the hotel tested positive for the virus late on Monday.

His wife and two more people who travelled with them tested positive on Tuesday. The four, who have been hospitalised, were part of a group of 10 who had travelled to Tenerife in Spain's Canary Islands, a popular winter sun destination for European tourists off the coast of West Africa.

A Reuters reporter saw police wearing face masks standing outside the hotel, while tourists could be seen on their balconies.

Betts said guests had been brought picnic breakfasts in their rooms. He was provided with blood pressure tablets after telling medical staff he did not have any left.

A group of a hundred tourists who arrived at the hotel on Monday and did not have contact with the Italian guests would be allowed to leave the hotel, the Canary's regional authorities said late on Tuesday. Most hotel guests show no symptoms, they said.

Health authorities in Madrid announced a new coronavirus case in the region on Wednesday, taking the number of cases detected over the past weeks to 10 - though two people have now been discharged.

The person who tested positive in Madrid on Wednesday had travelled recently to northern Italy, the centre of the biggest outbreak of the flu-like virus in Europe, regional authorities said.

Health Minister Salvador Illa played down the severity of the outbreak in Spain, emphasizing that all cases have been imported from abroad and there had not yet been any domestic transmission of the infection.