A couple who ditched their 2-year-old daughter to go on an overseas holiday have now been separated from her for seven weeks because of Covid-19 lockdowns around the world.
British lawyer Mark Hill and his Italian wife, Chiara Maioni, who live in Dubai, left 2-year-old Skye in the care of extended family and their nanny while they took a nine-day holiday to South Africa.
They left on March 11, the day after the World Health Organisation declared a global pandemic.
South Africa and the UAE then introduced a travel ban, meaning the couple were stuck in Cape Town away from family.
Hill told the MailOnline the situation was "horrendous, a complete nightmare" and "very stressful".
"The world changed overnight and we found ourselves in the complete unknown," he said.
"We didn't have a clue how long the lockdown would last and how to get home.
"We were stranded in a foreign country that we did not know. We watched as airports around the world closed and airlines stopped flying."
It was the first time Hill had been separated from his daughter for more than two days, and the first time Maioni had ever left Skye.
She said she felt "terribly guilty" about leaving her.
The family stayed in touch with Skye through video calls daily, and one of them read her a bedtime story before she went to sleep.
"When your 2-year-old daughter reaches up to the screen because she wants to touch you, it's heartbreaking," Hill said.
His wife added: "Our children are very special for us. It was really difficult to be separated from them."
The couple have since returned home to Dubai, but face a further nine days away from her as they remain in quarantine.
The couple were able to board a government repatriation flight to Dubai, arriving early on April 23, more than a month after heading on holiday.