Former East Devon man calls for people to socially distance themselves as he experiences lockdown in Mallorca

PUBLISHED: 09:00 23 March 2020 | UPDATED: 11:12 24 March 2020

Matthew Cull has been living in Mallorca for around three years. Picture: Matthew Cull

Matthew Cull has been living in Mallorca for around three years. Picture: Matthew Cull

Archant

AnEast Devon man who is now living under lockdown conditions in Mallorca has said residents in the UK should be socially distancing themselves to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Spanish troops are patrolling Palma, in Mallorca, to ensure people stay at home during the coronavirus outbreak. Picture: Courtesy of Matthew CullSpanish troops are patrolling Palma, in Mallorca, to ensure people stay at home during the coronavirus outbreak. Picture: Courtesy of Matthew Cull

Matthew Cull, 42, who has been living on the Spanish island for around three years, has said he thinks the United Kingdom is in denial about the seriousness of the situation.

He said: “There is a general feeling of bewilderment and embarrassment in Spain at how blasé the UK population seem to be taking this situation. It’s not just me. We are all urging friends and family in the UK to understand that the UK is following the graph of both Spain and Italy, and therefore on course for well over 4,000 deaths within the next two weeks yet ‘visiting mum’ or ‘going for a walk’, or taking the whole family shopping is reason enough to leave the house.

“They simply don’t realise the numbers of people already infected, who don’t actually know they have it, are all out passing the virus on to others. It seems the UK is in denial.”

He said the Spanish authorities put the country in lockdown at 10pm on Saturday, March 14 and have been enforcing that with the army and the police patrolling the streets to ensure people do not go out.

Spanish troops are patrolling Palma, in Mallorca, to ensure people stay at home during the coronavirus outbreak. Picture: Courtesy of Matthew CullSpanish troops are patrolling Palma, in Mallorca, to ensure people stay at home during the coronavirus outbreak. Picture: Courtesy of Matthew Cull

He said: “You can only leave the house for food, water or doctors/hospital. Only one person to a car for shopping, obviously you can take your child to the doctors etc but not shopping. They are VERY strict in this and they will/have been enforcing with heavy fines of between 600-3000 Euros.”

He described seeing the situation develop in Britain as ‘like watching a car crash in slow motion’.

Mr Cull lives in the south western part of Mallorca with his wife Lisa and his 10-year-old son, where he co-owns magazine Celebrity Mallorca, and formerly worked for Archant, publishers of the Midweek Herald, Exmouth Journal and Sidmouth Herald.

Speaking on Sunday, he said: “We have gone through the ‘we are worried about our finances’ stage because we are all in the same boat at the end of the day.

Matthew Cull said the 'soft' lockdown in the UK may need to be strengthened in due course. In Spain, troops are on the streets. Picture: Courtesy of Matthew CullMatthew Cull said the 'soft' lockdown in the UK may need to be strengthened in due course. In Spain, troops are on the streets. Picture: Courtesy of Matthew Cull

“We are now in a ‘this is the reality, lockdown is here for 15 days, with a 15 extension announced by the president this morning, and this is no longer about money or inconvenience. This is genuinely about life or death.

“I now know what a week of enforced isolation feels like and I think the Spanish government looked at the stats and at the same graphs as the UK but then made a swift decision to lockdown. It’s not much fun but absolutely necessary to try and slow this virus down.

“The enormity of what’s about to happen in the UK over the next ten days or so just isn’t registering with anyone it seems.”

He appealed directly to residents and said: “Please, please, please wake up to what is happening!

“Use your common sense and self-isolate.

“You shouldn’t need to wait for Boris to actually tell you stay indoors by way of a lockdown

Start properly social distancing NOW!!

The longer people don’t self isolate and social distance, the longer this is going to go on for!!

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