W Abu Dhabi in Yas Island. Source: AVIAMOST

Two of Abu Dhabi's grand hotels allowed some guests to leave on Sunday after having quarantined them on Friday due to fears of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The virus has reportedly infected two Italian cyclists during the professional cycling event UAE Tour, which has been canceled despite its remaining two stages.

In order to be certain no other guests or tour colleagues have been infected, authorities placed everyone in the W Abu Dhabi and Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi hotels under lock and key.

After having tested negative, British cyclist Chris Froome and the rest of Team INEOS' members were given the green light to head home. The test results for the rest of the quarantined cyclists and guests have not yet been made public.

According to Emirates News Agency (WAM), Abu Dhabi's Department of Health (DoH-AD) declared that 167 people of those thought to have been in contact with the two infected people tested negative for the virus. 

Although the two contaminated individuals were not staying at either hotels, the 140 professional cyclists residing at the W and Crowne Plaza are believed to have come in contact with them during the event.

"The health authorities are still monitoring the health condition of the contacts to ensure safety of the community," DoH-AD stated.

Multiple other events in the UAE are either being canceled or postponed indefinitely due to apprehension and concern over possible outbreaks.

Roberto Damiani, Sports Director of the French team Cofidis, threatened to go on a hunger strike if he's not released along with his team. Cofidis is now the only one of three remaining teams in their hotels.

Damiani believes they have now exceeded the "limit of decency." He understands that this is being done for public health and safety, however, he is peeved that only members of three teams have been under mandatory room confinement. 

"If, in the next few hours, the situation doesn't improve, I will start a hunger strike to at least defend the riders and staff members for whom I am directly responsible at this race," he said on Sunday.

The UAE Team Emirates took the decision to remain at the hotel even after being given the full go-ahead by authorities to return home. Nevertheless, the team decided to prolong their stay in the UAE because of some known cases of flu among team members. They also wanted to test everyone's conditions before heading home.

A spokesperson for W Abu Dhabi revealed that they would continue to comply with the directions provided to them by Abu Dhabi authorities because the safety and well-being of their guests are more important than anything else.