Four British teenage girls have been kept in solitary confinement in an Italian hotel turned coronavirus detention centre for almost one month.
Rachel Goldsmith, Lily Griffin, LilyRose Wallace, and Millie Acers, who are all 18, had been on holiday in Sicily before they tested positive for the virus in September.
The school friends were placed in separate rooms at the hotel which is surrounded by armed police and the army.
The teens, who were educated at the £18,000-a-year James Allen Girls' School in Dulwich, south London, are now missing the start of university courses, exams and their jobs.
Rachel Goldsmith, Lily Griffin and LilyRose Wallace, all 18, and Millie Acers, 19, were on holiday in Sicily (pictured) when they tested positive for the virus on September 15
Under Italian health laws they must test negative for the coronavirus twice before they can be freed.
Millie, who is studying English at Durham, was able to leave on Sunday after two negative results, but Rachel, Lily and LilyRose tested positive for the third time this week.
Rachel, who is applying to study history and politics at university next year, said: 'It's been really challenging mentally, being completely alone.
'The only contact that we have are with people wearing hazmat suits and they can't really speak English, so I feel isolated. It's just lonely being here.'
The view from the hotel where the girls are being held, they are not able to communicate with each other from their separate rooms
LilyRose, who is working in a café and hoping to apply to drama school, added: 'I feel frightened. We're all struggling now because it's been a long time. The conditions aren't great but what's really bad is the communication - not knowing when we're going to leave, what's going on, and when our tests are going to be.
'The thought of not knowing when I'm coming home is the most difficult, especially at this point knowing that there's no point us being here. We know we're no longer contagious, it's been a very long time since we had the virus.
'It's really scary. We're young but there are lots of adults here and you can hear them crying at night and shouting and you think if adults aren't coping well, what'll happen to us if we're here for a long time?'
The four friends, who are all from south London, arrived in Palermo, the Sicilian capital, on September 8 for a one week holiday after a disrupted final year at school.
Food served up at the Palermo hotel where the British teens have been kept isolated for weeks
But LilyRose and Rachel started having mild symptoms, including losing their sense of taste and smell. They notified the landlady of the apartment they were staying in and all four began self-isolating.
The group tested positive for Covid-19 on September 15 – the day they were due to fly home – and were taken by ambulance to the San Paolo Palace Hotel.
They are now appealing to the British government for help, amid fears they could be stuck there for several more weeks.
Lily, who is studying medicine at Imperial, said: 'We feel let down by the British government because we did everything we could to protect Italians - we got tested, we didn't get on that plane home, we wore masks everywhere and now the government and the consulate are doing nothing to get us out of this situation.
'I've now missed the start of university. For this first week I can catch up on everything online but next week I start missing skills session, it's a medical course so you can't do it all remotely.
Italy has since introduced compulsory coronavirus testing for UK visitors. Minister of health Roberto Speranza said arrivals from European countries 'at greater risk for Covid-19' - such as the UK, France and Spain - must provide evidence of a negative test taken in the 72 hours prior to travel. (Above, a testing site at Fiumicino Airport in Rome)
Visitors unable to provide proof of a negative result at the border have to take a test in Italy. Some airports offer free tests, while others may cost around £11. Travellers will not be allowed to leave until they have received their result. (Above, passengers in transit area at 'Leonardo da Vinci' airport, in Fiumicino, near Rome, today)
'I can't study on the WIFI of the hotel either because it just doesn't reach my room so I've had to buy extra data and that's already cost me about £80 I think.'