84ºF

KSAT employee finally home after being stranded in Argentina under mandated quarantine

SAN ANTONIO – There's an exciting final update on KSAT employee Sebastian Jovell, who was stuck in Argentina under a mandatory quarantine.

After two canceled flights, a whole day and night in an airport and four flights home, he is now back in San Antonio.

Wednesday afternoon, he checked in from his home.

"Relief, a sigh of relief," he said.

That's not the typical reaction after returning home from an incredible vacation in Argentina visiting family, and eating amazing food.

That fun was cut short when Argentina’s government-mandated a quarantine for foreigners from countries affected by COVID-19.

Sebastian was never sick, but still had to stay in a room in his cousin’s house, and eventually an AirBnB for the rest of the time.

Last time Sebastian checked in with KSAT, he had finished his quarantine and made it to the Buenos Aires airport, where he stayed for 24 hours after two flights were canceled.

KSAT tech team member home in SA after being quarantined in Argentina for 2 weeks

“Not sleeping, not eating because all the vending machines were out of food, they were out of drinks,” he said. “It was tough seeing people in worse situations than I was. You could feel the tension in the air. You could see people were just starting to break down, wondering if they’re going to go home, when they’re going to go home.”

Several travelers slept in the airport while waiting for flights back to the United States amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Several travelers slept in the airport while waiting for flights back to the United States amid the coronavirus pandemic. (KSAT)

At the time, he was aware of the more than 13,000 Americans stranded in foreign countries because of international border closures and travel restrictions.

Many of those people are in Peru, where Sebastian was originally routed.

That’s why he felt lucky when he made it on a flight to Chile, where he flew from Santiago, to Atlanta, to Houston and finally to San Antonio.

Sebastian Jovell on his way home after being quarantined in Argentina amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Sebastian Jovell on his way home after being quarantined in Argentina amid the coronavirus pandemic. (KSAT)

It's a huge relief to his wife Amelia.

“I missed him, I couldn’t sleep without him!” she said. “He’d call me every day saying, ‘My flight was canceled.’ I was frustrated and wondering if he’d get home.”

They're happily reunited, but social distancing to be safe.

"It's been tough," Sebastian said. "I've been wanting to hug her and kiss her but I think it's best that I give it 14 days."

He hasn't had any symptoms, but said it's the responsible thing to do, not just for his wife, but for his community.

Sebastian is excited to finally get back to work. He’ll be doing that remotely from home.


About the Authors: