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'We are like captives': life in Britain's quarantine hotels


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'We are like captives': life in Britain's quarantine hotels

By Hannah McKay and Sarah Young

 

2021-02-16T190846Z_2_LYNXMPEH1F1DT_RTROPTP_4_HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS-BRITAIN-QUARANTINE.JPG

A person holds a sign from a window of the Radisson Blu Hotel at Heathrow Airport, as Britain introduces hotel quarantine programme for arrivals from a "red list" of 30 countries, amidst the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in London, Britain, February 16, 2021. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

 

LONDON (Reuters) - Mohamed Noor faces 10 days in COVID-19 quarantine in a hotel room near London's Heathrow Airport after falling foul of new border controls because of a flight delay.

 

"I don't have a book. I don't have a Koran. I don't have nothing here," Noor, a 55-year-old Muslim, said by phone after his arrival on Monday, a day later than planned, landed him with a 1,750-pound ($2,400) bill.

 

In another hotel nearby, 61-year-old Sole, who declined to give her surname, said she realised too late that the new rules would kick in before she returned from visiting friends in Chile.

 

"We are like captives in these rooms," she said.

 

Britain says the measures, effective since Monday, are needed to protect its COVID-19 vaccination programme and guard against new coronavirus variants.

 

People returning from any of 33 "high-risk" countries where travel to Britain is banned must pay 1,750 pounds for a 10-day quarantine hotel package.

 

After being taken by bus to government-contracted hotels, they must spend most of the time in their rooms and have meals delivered to their door.

 

Noor, a postal driver, was visiting Somalia after his brother died and feels he is being punished for going to look after his mother. He spent four hours at the airport arguing his case and says he will refuse to pay.

 

"My family was waiting outside the airport and you can't see them. My 11-year old son was waiting," he said.

 

Sole plans to spend the time talking to friends, watching television and doing online classes and yoga.

 

She also feels she is being punished after taking a holiday following a stressful year working in a hospital where she has treated COVID-19 patients.

 

"Why has this happened? The new variant is in South Africa and it's going to spread anyway," she said.

 

($1 = 0.7199 pounds)

 

(Reporting by Hannah McKay, Dylan Martinez and Sarah Young, Editing by Timothy Heritage)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2021-02-17
 
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It's quite sad that people would think that this is being done to punish them.   It's done to keep an entire nation from possibly suffering.   

One needs to know that hundred of thousands haven't been able to have a proper funeral for their loved ones.   He did and the price is 10 days.   I am sure many would give more for a real farewell to family and loved ones.   

The other took a long deserved holiday.  Her price is also 10 days.  Hundreds of thousands haven't been able to go on a holiday.  Her 10 days is not too high a price.  

 

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Lucky they didn't come to Thailand. 14 days quarantine much stricter than the UK. They knew (it was announced well in advance) that new rules would apply from 15th February so should have returned early or stayed overseas if they didn't want quarantine. Either that or do the time then get on with life. 

 

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Ah stop the whining! Quarantine hotels are for people who travel abroad. The guy "who lost his job" obviously had cash to travel abroad, knew of the requirement for the quarantine, yet did it anyway. No sympathy.

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3 hours ago, soi3eddie said:

Lucky they didn't come to Thailand. 14 days quarantine much stricter than the UK.

In what way? . No way UK Let them use the gym or sit outside their rooms 

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3 minutes ago, madmen said:

In what way? . No way UK Let them use the gym or sit outside their rooms 

 

14 days not 10 days quarantine. No entry unless full payment made. Will the UK government or hotel ever get the payment from this guy?

 

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4 hours ago, webfact said:

"We are like captives in these rooms," she said.

 

............ they must spend most of the time in their rooms and have meals delivered to their door.

Guess what zoo animals feel like, at least they won't have tourists shouting to get them to pose for photo's.

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1 minute ago, HashBrownHarry said:

The enforced quarantine should be free for British nationals

Members of the Conservative party, Tory donors and the bar staff in the local Dog and Duck that Hancock goes to....yes...everyone else can pay.

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If the delay was outside of Mr. Noor's control then I have some sympathy for him, especially given he was not traveling for pleasure.

 

As for Ms. Sole. Turned out to be an expensive holiday. No one to blame but herself.

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3 hours ago, soi3eddie said:

 

14 days not 10 days quarantine. No entry unless full payment made. Will the UK government or hotel ever get the payment from this guy?

 

That makes the Thai system far better in my mind.

 

It seems cheaper too as in the UK you pay £1750 and then extra for 3 tests.

Only some of the more expensive ASQ cost that much.

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4 hours ago, gunderhill said:

That'll be the  will of  Allah then.

The Muslims protesting over a koran in the UK the farangs protesting about the lack of alcohol in state quarantine.  Funny.

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4 hours ago, RayC said:

If the delay was outside of Mr. Noor's control then I have some sympathy for him, especially given he was not traveling for pleasure.

 

As for Ms. Sole. Turned out to be an expensive holiday. No one to blame but herself.

Ah.....Sole.....

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11 hours ago, Credo said:

It's quite sad that people would think that this is being done to punish them.   It's done to keep an entire nation from possibly suffering.   

One needs to know that hundred of thousands haven't been able to have a proper funeral for their loved ones.   He did and the price is 10 days.   I am sure many would give more for a real farewell to family and loved ones.   

The other took a long deserved holiday.  Her price is also 10 days.  Hundreds of thousands haven't been able to go on a holiday.  Her 10 days is not too high a price.  

 

Well they could be Australian in which case they would be left to languish somewhere abroad, often with no money, away from family, home and sources of income because Australian government was only letting in so many people per day.

Everyone has a tough story. It is a bit like World War Two in that respect. People who lost loved ones. Others who lost jobs. Some died. Many left with what appear to be life-long morbidities (what people call "long covid.")

 

We ought not to get into the misery comparisson business but for a young and seemingly healthy man in the picture and others who claims to be "punished" should consider that others are having it much worse. After two weeks his solitary confinement will be over. If he cannot pay, the debt will most likely be registered against him. If he cannot get a job immediately he will be able to register bankrupt and ultimately get on with his life - reason for bankruptcy = covid will be very common. He may struggle to get a job immediately but in six months the economy will open up again. For many who died or who have been made disabled by this virus, the economy will never open up for them again.

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18 hours ago, soi3eddie said:

 

Lucky they didn't come to Thailand. 14 days quarantine much stricter than the UK. They knew (it was announced well in advance) that new rules would apply from 15th February so should have returned early or stayed overseas if they didn't want quarantine. Either that or do the time then get on with life. 

 

 

Yes much stricter, the 14 days actually turns out to be 15 nights/16 days! 😷

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You decided to go abroad ,so tough ,just pay the bill ,i wanted to come to the UK ,but would have to jump through many hoops to get back ,so did not go ,i may never see my family again as i have been very ill in the meantime ,so tough luck buddy.

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1 minute ago, ivor bigun said:

You decided to go abroad ,so tough ,just pay the bill ,i wanted to come to the UK ,but would have to jump through many hoops to get back ,so did not go ,i may never see my family again as i have been very ill in the meantime ,so tough luck buddy.

So we should feel sorry for you and wish the govt had handled it better? Or just sorry buddy to you.

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