After testing positive for COVID-19 mid-flight, a woman described her five-hour quarantine experience in a plane restroom. More than 4.5 million people have seen a TikTok video showing Marisa Fotieo’s ordeal in the temporary isolation facilities.
A scratchy throat plagued Fotieo shortly into her travel from Chicago to Reykjavik on Icelandair, just in time for the holidays.
Fotieo hurried to the bathroom after pulling out a fast antigen test she’d carried in her carry-on for the trip. Fotieo told NBC’s Today program that the test strip’s two lines indicating a positive result appeared in less than two seconds.
Fotieo made the difficult decision to spend the remainder of the flight alone in the restroom for fear of spreading her infection to the other passengers.
Fotieo said that there were 150 people on the plane, and her biggest fear was spreading the virus over to them.
An Icelandair flight attendant came to Fotieo’s rescue and ensured that she had enough food and drink to keep her happy for the rest of the flight.
Fotieo was immediately taken to a hotel quarantine upon her arrival in Iceland. An Icelandic flight attendant named Ragnhildur “Rocky” brought flowers and other presents to make the stay in Reykjavik more enjoyable for Fotieo.
To comply with Iceland’s current pandemic travel restrictions, a negative test made must be provided received within 72 hours of departure, and the COVID-19 test must be negative. Since the rapid antigen tests are excellent at detecting positive cases when an infected person is actively spreading the virus, some countries have shortened the duration for these tests.
Visitors like Fotieo do not have to take a post-arrival test in Iceland, unlike its citizens and residents, who are compelled to do so.