Abu Dhabi: She was once stranded out of the UAE due to coronavirus-related travel restrictions. The UAE’s efforts brought her safely back, and now Hannah O Reilly is finally home with her husband in Dubai.
“I feel so appreciative to be back in the UAE, where we are very safe compared to the rest of the world. I’m beside myself with gratitude,” the 29-year-old American expat told Gulf News.
The supply teacher, who is nearly into the third trimester of her first pregnancy, had found herself unable to return from New York after all commercial flights to and from the UAE were suspended on March 19. She had been visiting her mother after the latter had undergone cancer surgery, while her British husband, Dan, 44, stayed on in the UAE, and the couple had never expected the turn of events.
Gulf News reported O Reilly’s plight on March 24, and it caught the attention of the UAE leadership. By March 29, she had been flown back on a flight bringing Emiratis back home, and was quarantined in an Abu Dhabi hotel. There, she documented her quarantine on her Instagram account in the hope that it would help other stranded expats.
“I have been extremely impressed with how smooth and efficient the entire evacuation and quarantine process was, despite the limited time to plan them,” she added.
O Reilly had earlier told Gulf News about how she had been delivered three meals a day free of charge, and had had access to laundry services twice a week.
“I was let out of quarantine on April 9, and my baby is well. I was even able to complete the required tests with my doctor after getting back,” O Reilly said.
Dan said, “The whole thing feels like a dream. I was constantly worried and felt totally helpless. I don’t know how we can ever say thank you to the UAE. Looking at the rest of the world, especially New York where Hannah’s parents are, it was clearly the right choice for her to be here. I’m just happy to have my wife safe at home with me.”
O’Reilly had been unable to step out of her hotel room during the quarantine, so the first thing she did after getting back home was spend some time in the garden with her cat.
“I’m home and I am feeling good,” she said.