DEVIZES woman Barbara Carlile was at her holiday home in Spain when the government announced a strict lockdown.

She spent five days abiding by the rules in a small town in Andalucia before she finally got a flight back on Friday.

Below is here diary of what started as a pleasant holiday enjoying socialising with Spanish and British friends but ended in isolation.

Barbara, 70, said: “I left Bristol on March 3 and arrived in Malaga. It was a beautiful evening as my friend kindly drove me home to Pruna.

“The week continued pleasantly, normally, breakfast here, lunch there, out sometimes in the evening.

“There had been talk on Spanish TV about the problem in Italy but I don’t always understand every word. I knew the death rate was going up at an alarming rate but ours in Spain was relatively reasonable, if you can call any death rate that.”

March 15: “On Saturday night a few of us went to the Casino, where all of a sudden the President Pablo Sanchez came on to the television. ‘State of Alarma’.

“The country was on lockdown, immediately. Not next week, not tomorrow: Now. We were not allowed to go out, we must stay in our houses, all of us.”

The next day brought the news that all bars and cafes were to close. Only food shops and one chemist would be open in Pruna.

March 16: “I went out to have a look around, on the way back from a fruit shop. Both the public squares were ribboned off to stop anyone sitting there, even the stunningly rebuilt Church Square. It was strange and difficult: Pruna in Lockdown.

“For a couple of days things were very quiet. Then somebody posted on facebook a video of his neighbours in his street chatting, dancing and clapping.

MARCH 17: “The next evening at 8pm there was an enormous noise from the street. A police squad car was patrolling, very slowly, and extremely loudly, sirens blazing down the street, turning left, and all around the village. They patrolled every evening from then.”

Barbara did not think she would be able to fly home but was advised that with a form stamped by the police she might be able to get her Ryan Air flight. She arrived to an eerily quiet Malaga airport on Friday where the only place with queues was a single Costa Coffee.