People travelling into the U.K. from countries on the Government’s “red list” must isolate for 10 days in a quarantine hotel – and pay £1,750 per adult for the privilege! They’re not exactly getting their money’s worth, however. Some travellers have complained of a deterioration in their mental and physical health while isolating due to a lack of fresh air, exercise and proper food. The Guardian has talked to nine travellers who are or have recently been in quarantine hotels.
Some of them had travelled abroad due to sickness or death of loved ones and so were already in a distressed and traumatised state before entering the quarantine process…
While nobody challenged the need to quarantine, it is the way the process has been handled that has generated the complaints. A Facebook group called U.K. Hotel Quarantine Support Chat has been set up and has thousands of members, many of whom have raised concerns about quarantine arrangements.
Dr Sanjay Gupta, an NHS cardiology consultant, who was returning from Kenya where he had travelled to be with his dying father, said: “Not everyone can afford to pay the £1,750 cost. There seems to be something shamelessly opportunistic about this situation. But if you’re arriving from a red list country you don’t have a choice.”
Dr Thanjavur Bragadeesh, also an NHS consultant, who had returned from India where he was helping to care for his elderly parents after both had had surgery, said: “It took several hours to reach the hotel after arriving at the airport. The food is not good and the quantities are small. I got a small box of cereal for breakfast with a cheese omelette that was so hard that if I had thrown it, it would hit someone. One of the things I got for dinner was half a naan bread. I don’t know who got the other half!”