Hundreds of people returning home to parts of Asia , the United States and Britain from the mainland Chinese province of Hubei and the coronavirus-stricken Diamond Princess cruise ship are facing an additional two weeks in government quarantine. Health authorities want to isolate them in case they end up testing positive for Covid-19 , the illness caused by the coronavirus, which has sickened over 80,000 people and claimed more than 2,700 lives, mostly in mainland China . The conditions of their quarantine vary widely by country: those in Singapore are dining on reheated fried rice at government-owned holiday chalets while people quarantined in France have been given the run of a sunny seaside resort with volleyball games, art classes and a concierge service to help them organise laundry and even acquire their preferred brands of cigarettes. Some have taken to social media to describe the monotony of life under quarantine or complain about their facilities, while others, like Ukranian citizen Julia Volok, who returned to Kiev after spending 18 months studying Chinese in Hubei, have said they are just relieved to be back home. “Beet salad is a huge delight,” the 26-year-old told Reuters. Cameron Kaiser is the head of public health in Riverside County, California, and this month oversaw the successful quarantine of the first group of 195 Americans to return from Hubei, the epicentre of the contagion. He said US health officials tried to make conditions on military bases as similar as possible to normal life. There were colouring books and games for children, and fitness classes for adults staying on the grounds of March Air Base, where they were permitted to go outside to enjoy the sunny southern California weather. “It’s not optimal but just because it’s mandatory doesn’t mean it needs to be miserable,” Kaiser said. Controlled conditions The Diamond Princess carried 2,666 passengers and 1,045 crew from more than 50 countries and regions. Hong Kong brought over 200 ship passengers back to pass the 14-day period in the newly built Chun Yeung Estate in Fo Tan. But quarantined Hongkongers such as David Yeung Kun-wah, 70, told the South China Morning Post the conditions were “totally unacceptable”. He said the 150 sq ft room he and his wife shared was dusty and had no toilet paper. In Singapore, Qu Haiyan, who was quarantined after visiting family in Wuhan, was sent to the Heritage Chalet, one of several government-owned holiday resorts that are simply furnished with basic beds and wardrobes. Although health officials stocked the chalets with essentials such as coffee, bottled water and even the Milo chocolate drink, Qu told Singapore news outlet Today the meals of reheated fried rice had become repetitive. Apart from calls from security guards three times a day to pick up a prepared meal or fresh linen, Qu was not able to leave her roughly 30 sq ft room during her two-week stay, and her only contact with family members was through her smartphone. In the US, online ordering and food delivery came to the rescue to relieve the monotony of bland diets for the nearly 1,000 quarantined people staying on military bases in Texas, California and Nevada. Rachel and Tyler Torres, a young Texas couple who spent their honeymoon on board the Diamond Princess and posted about the experience on Reddit, worked to get local burger chain Whataburger to deliver to the base where they are staying in the hopes of sharing a taste of the beloved local flavour. “We work tirelessly to introduce non-Texans to the miracle of the Patty Melt,” Rachel Torres wrote in a first-person account for The Dallas Morning News . California resident Blair Zong documented her quarantine stay at one of the state’s military bases for The New York Times . Her room had basic furnishings, including a bed, wardrobe and desk, and was comfortable enough for her to sleep off her jet lag. Zong was able to order Valentine’s Day chocolates online, she said, and shared them with her neighbours at the military inn who had bonded over the ordeal – all while keeping the requisite six-foot distance between them at all times. Zong described the food at the base as being like “reheated aeroplane meals” – fried rice and scrambled eggs – but said the staff from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention running the quarantine operation tried to improve the food. Coronavirus: 300 Americans from Diamond Princess back and quarantined in US In Australia, Vera Koslova-Fu – who was evacuated from the Diamond Princess – said she was staying in a cabin at Howard Springs near Darwin, in quarantine facilities that were formerly factory workers’ housing. Koslova-Fu told This Week in Asia that residents in the quarantine facilities were not able to receive any items from outside the compound, but described the food as “excellent”. “Communication here has improved every day,” said Koslova-Fu, who is from Melbourne and works as a lecturer at Victoria University. “We get text messages regularly with updates on use of facilities and which blocks can use the pool and basketball courts,” she said, adding that as the wireless internet network was patchy at Howard Springs, her mobile provider had agreed to increase her phone’s data allotment for free. In Britain, 30 citizens who arrived over the weekend will pass their two weeks at Arrowe Park Hospital outside Liverpool, which has already hosted two groups of people returning from recent travels in China. Four returning passengers to the UK have so far tested positive for the virus and have been moved to isolation. Returnees are staying in small flats equipped with kitchens and living rooms, which have already been stocked with snacks, fruit and disinfectant supplies. The British Department of Health said the hospital would continue to run as normal and the returnees’ presence there posed no risk to the public. Hong Kong quarantine is ‘heaven’ compared with ‘luxury hell’ of cruise Germans who were evacuated earlier this month from Hubei province have been quarantined on a military base in Germersheim in southern Germany, while Italian nationals returning from China are being housed at the Cecchignola military base in southern Rome. More than 200 Canadians who recently returned from China are being monitored at the Yukon Lodge on an air force base in Ontario, where they are also receiving mental health support services. Community concerns From Hong Kong to Ukraine to Alabama, communities living around designated quarantine facilities have protested against the return of evacuees. The choice of Chun Yeung Estate as a quarantine site was met with protests last week, as nearly all of the more than 4,000 new flats had already been allocated. The decision was a turnaround for Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, who had previously said no new public housing estates would be used for such purpose. But Lam said three other quarantine sites were already full and a fourth was close to capacity. On January 26, protesters damaged another designated quarantine site with petrol bombs, including a public housing estate in Fanling. In South Korea, residents of Asan and Jincheon protested in late January after the government announced plans to set up quarantine facilities in their two cities. Eggs were thrown at officials during a protest. Returnees to Ukraine were pelted with objects thrown by protesters as they approached the sanatorium where they would pass their quarantine period. Ukraine Health Minister Zoriana Skaletska is staying at the sanatorium in a show of solidarity with the returnees after they were met with hostility upon arrival. In the US, residents and local officials in one Alabama community pushed back against the federal government’s plans to house people exposed to the virus at quarantine facilities there. Earlier this evening, I spoke w/ @realDonaldTrump . He agreed with me that the decision by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to house those Americans exposed to Coronavirus (COVID-19) at the Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) in Anniston is the wrong decision. — Mike Rogers (@RepMikeRogersAL) February 23, 2020 In California, Kaiser was moved to issue an open letter to the community after reports that workers on the March Air Base had faced discrimination over their proximity to those in quarantine. Kaiser emphasised that those in quarantine were isolated from base personnel, and their presence posed no risk to the community. “They don’t need additional testing; they don’t need to be shunned,” Kaiser said.