Whether you are keeping up with travelling rules or not during the pandemic, we are sure you have heard something about the UK hotel quarantine rules. In the UK, travellers are currently required to stay 10 days – 11 nights – in a hotel if they arrive from a country that is on the red list.
The red list includes more than 60 countries and travellers that are fully vaccinated or have a negative PCR test are still obligated to quarantine upon their arrival.
This particular hotel quarantine policy has received a lot of criticism with a legal challenge being the latest. A law firm representing UK travellers is seeking a judicial review of the government’s hotel quarantine policy.
The London-based firm PGMBM has argued that requiring people that have been fully vaccinated or have recently tested negative to quarantine in a hotel is an unlawful deprivation of liberty and said that these rules harm civil liberties.
PGMBM has written a letter to the government about the quarantine hotel policy seeking a judicial review.
The law firm’s managing partner Tom Goodhead said: “Many of the people who get in touch with us are not travelling to or from red list countries for holidays or for leisure.
“They are often travelling for emergency or urgent reasons and would not be travelling unless they felt it was absolutely necessary.”
The law firm also makes an important point about how the policy has been amended in other countries. The only other European countries with similar mandatory hotel quarantine, Ireland and Norway, have updated the policy so travellers that have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are exempt.
In the past few months since travelling reopened there have been many complaints regarding the hotel quarantine policy but also about the government-approved hotels, including harassment of sole female guests and the quality of food and the costs. Last week, the cost of quarantining in a hotel rose to £2,285 from £1,750.
Lorna Farmer, a sole female guest of the Hilton Garden Inn at Birmingham airport, had to walk out of the hotel after a guard offered to “entertain” her in her room. Many other cases have been reported which indicates a problem across the UK’s quarantine hotels.
As more and more people get vaccinated, the government should consider amending the current policies to exempt some UK travellers and add rules that ensure their safety. People that are quarantining in hotels are doing it to keep us all safe, so they must also feel safe and treated respectfully.