Gaviria returns to Colombia after six weeks in UAE quarantine

Vuelta a San Juan 2020 stage 2
Gaviria is finally home (Image credit: Bettini Images)

After spending some six weeks quarantined in the United Arab Emirates, Fernando Gaviria is finally back on home soil after returning to his native Colombia on Wednesday. 

The UAE Team Emirates rider contracted COVID-19 while racing the UAE Tour, which was halted prematurely on February 27 after reports of symptoms from people involved in the race. 

The UAE team decided to self-quarantine as a precautionary measure and Gaviria confirmed he had tested positive for the coronavirus on March 12. 

Gaviria remained in the UAE for the best part of a month, undergoing regular tests in hospital to ensure he was free from the virus. He received the all-clear on March 26 and was discharged, although he had to wait until Wednesday to be able to fly home.

He landed in Bogota at 11am local time on a specially chartered plane along with 56 other Colombians and a cargo of medical supplies. In accordance with the protocols currently in place in the country, he was immediately placed into quarantine in the capital, and will have to wait before he can return to his home in La Ceja.

No set quarantine period was indicated, with the Colombian Cycling Federation saying he'd be able to return to his family "when the circumstances allow".

"I want to thank all the health team that has taken care of me in the United Arab Emirates, for their excellent work and dedication, and all those who have supported me during this period of convalescence and recovery," Gaviria said when discharged two weeks ago.

"I hope and wish that this extraordinary situation will pass soon, so that I can return to normality."

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Patrick Fletcher
Deputy Editor

Deputy Editor. Patrick is an NCTJ-trained journalist who has seven years’ experience covering professional cycling. He has a modern languages degree from Durham University and has been able to put it to some use in what is a multi-lingual sport, with a particular focus on French and Spanish-speaking riders. After joining Cyclingnews as a staff writer on the back of work experience, Patrick became Features Editor in 2018 and oversaw significant growth in the site’s long-form and in-depth output. Since 2022 he has been Deputy Editor, taking more responsibility for the site’s content as a whole, while still writing and - despite a pandemic-induced hiatus - travelling to races around the world. Away from cycling, Patrick spends most of his time playing or watching other forms of sport - football, tennis, trail running, darts, to name a few, but he draws the line at rugby.