A tourist has reportedly been rescued after being stranded in an airport for more than 100 days due to coronavirus travel restrictions, which saw him unable to return home.
Roman Trofimov of Estonia was traveling from Bangkok on March 20 on an AirAsia flight when he landed at Manila airport in the Philippines, The Sun reported. Once he arrived, however, he learned he would be unable to leave the departures area as the Philippines were not issuing visas for arrivals due to coronavirus restrictions. The airline was also reportedly not allowed to take him back to Thailand because of the pandemic.
Since March 20, Trofimov had been stuck in the departures zone of the airport, sleeping on the ground and allegedly surviving on snacks at the airport or food donated to him by airport staff.
“The airline said I need to wait for Enhanced Community Quarantine to be over before I am allowed to fly,” he said, The Sun reported.
“I am a person with disability, my health is getting worse because of malnutrition, lack of sun and fresh air,” he said.
The man made several pleas on his social media page to help him get out of the airport. He asked his embassy, but they reportedly could not get him a repatriation flight.
According to a statement from the Estonian foreign ministry, reported by The Sun, officials claim Trofimov had flown to the South Asian country after warnings about the coronavirus had been shared.
“It is important to note that he flew to the Philippines during a time when countries had announced emergency situations and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had given a travel warning.”
The man had also reportedly been traveling under a “grey passport,” meaning he is not an Estonian citizen but lives in the country.
The situation, which is reminiscent of Tom Hanks’ movie “The Terminal,” came to a close on July 7 – after 110 days spent in the airport – when Trofimov shared in an updated Facebook post that he was able to fly back to Estonia’s capital Tallinn.
“Thank you to everyone who spread information online, gave me advice and just supported me with a kind word,” he wrote. “Together we did it!”
It was not reported if he will have to quarantine upon his return to the country.