Indian Rocks snowbirds stuck in Cambodia amid coronavirus crisis

Pinellas County

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The country of Cambodia has banned the entry of visitors from Italy, Germany, Spain, France and the U.S. to curb the spread of coronavirus.

However, getting to Cambodia isn’t the issue for a family who lives in Indian Rocks, getting back to the U.S. is the issue.

Ryan and Theresa Knapp took a Viking River Cruise through Southeast Asia. They set off on March 3, along with 12 other Americans, 11 Brits and 4 Canadians.

Then things changed. They posted the experience on their Facebook, saying:

“Dear friends, Ryan Knapp and I have found ourselves in a desperate situation and need the public’s help.

We were on the Viking Mekong touring Vietnam and Cambodia (Cambodia is home to the largest religious structure in the world).

Many of the already small group of 56 had canceled due to recent news but even my doctor thought it was safe to come more than 2 weeks ago.   

We were having a great time. A while into the trip the authorities learned that 5 Brits flew with an infected person.

I’m not clear the sequence but eventually 3 were tested and one was positive. They took our temperature at the Vietnam/Cambodia border and we were all fine.”

By phone, Ryan Knapp told News Channel 8, “The difficulty is really not knowing what’s going on.”

He said, they are now stuck in a hotel in Cambodia, with no idea of when they’ll be able to return.

“We actually started quarantine on the ship late Wednesday morning. We did that for 48 hours. And then the Cambodian authorities I guess took us off the boat and that’s when they moved us to this quote on quote hotel,” Knapp said. “It’s a pretty miserable experience. It’s pretty filthy, leaking toilets, sinks not very sanitary at all.”

Although they both tested negative for coronavirus, the biggest issue now is when they can come home.  

“How and when we’re going to get home is a mystery with all the travel restrictions going on around the world. We just don’t know,” Knapp added. “A lot of that is the unknown. Compounding that is some pretty miserable conditions, makes for a tough experience.”

They and others on the trip have contacted government officials, but so far, they have no idea when they will be able to return to the states.

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