CLEVELAND (WJW) — An international teacher who was caught in China during the COVID-19 crisis thought he was on his way home to Chagrin Falls, only to be detained in Hong Kong and sent into quarantine for two weeks.
This, despite the fact that Kevin Shea passed a COVID-19 test at the Hong Kong airport.
Shea says he and five other foreign nationals who were coming from China were separated at the Hong Kong airport and told changing stories about why they were being detained.
At one point, they were told it was because they didn’t have boarding passes, yet no official would go to the other side of security to get the passes that were waiting for them.
Shea says officials tried to force the six to agree to pay for their own hotel rooms for two weeks, which they refused to do.
He says they were separated for eight hours, then held for ten hours more awaiting COVID-19 test results, which were negative, before finally being taken to a hotel where they are being held in quarantine.
“We were treated pretty horribly,” Shea said.
“I haven’t seen my wife in five months,” he adds. “I’d like to get home.”
FOX 8 contacted Senator Sherrod Brown’s office to see what could be done about the situation. Due to privacy concerns, a spokesman says they can’t comment on any efforts they may be making.
But Shea confirms he has made contact with someone from Brown’s office.
“Would we welcome a humanitarian flight home? Absolutely,” he said.
The six, including Shea and an elderly American couple, are now suppose to be able to leave July 15 if they are COVID-free.
Now fitted with a monitoring bracelet and having a special chip installed in his phone so he can be monitored as well, Shea says he just wants to get back to Chagrin Falls to his wife and extended family.
He worries that rising tensions in Hong Kong, where China has imposed a new national security law, and a surge in COVID cases in the city could complicate matters.
“We worry that we may get stuck here indefinitely,” he said.
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