San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Hotel Barceló Tambor allowed to reopen

Health officials allowed Hotel Barceló Tambor to reopen eight days after the hotel was shut down due to an outbreak of the norovirus.

More than 80 guests reported symptoms of the gastrointestinal illness, including diarrhea, vomiting, stomach cramps and body aches.

Health officials closed the hotel on Dec. 26 and ordered measures be taken to find the source of the virus. The hotel pool was drained, food was tested and water samples were taken to determine the cause of the virus. Health Minister María Luisa Avila said they expect results from the testing in the upcoming days. She said the hotel complied with all of the Health Ministry’s recommendations and that no new cases of the norovirus were reported in the community in the past few days. Avila cited these reasons for why the hotel was permitted to reopen.

The outbreak had some guests fuming about their holiday stay.

Laurie Boswell of Houston was among the vacationers who didn’t go home happy.

Her five-days-in-the-sun was cut short by the outbreak. She, her husband and six-year-old daughter were evacuated and spent the rest of the trip eating off a ‘limited menu’ in a quarantined section of an urban hotel and forced to undergo testing at a public hospital in San José.

“It was a nightmare,” said the 48-year-old from Houston. “It pretty much ruined Costa Rica for me. I don’t think I’ll come back.”

The news agency EFE contributed to this report.

For more on this story, see the Jan. 7 edition of The Tico Times.

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