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Travellers Liken Britain's Quarantine Hotels To Staying In A 'Prison'

Travellers Liken Britain's Quarantine Hotels To Staying In A 'Prison'

New arrivals must pay £1,750 for the privilege

Tom Wood

Tom Wood

Some of the travellers who have been forced to fork out £1,750 to stay for 10 days in one of the UK's quarantine hotels have likened their experience to staying in a 'prison'.

As of this Monday, anyone arriving from one of the 33 countries on the 'red list' must stay in one of these government-appointed hotels for a lengthy period of self-isolation.

That means that - as in many places in the world right now - travellers must stay in a hotel room with their food remotely provided to them and, presumably, amuse themselves.

Elaine and Wagner Araujo have lived in the UK and have four children here, but are originally from Brazil, which was added to the red list after a troubling new variant of the virus was discovered there.

They flew back to Brazil and had intended to stay there for 15 days on family business, but had to change their airline after a flight on 3 February was cancelled.


The new airline kept changing the dates of the flight until it became clear that they'd arrive just in time to face the new travel restrictions regarding quarantine periods.

Speaking to Sky News, Mrs Araujo said: "We thought we were going to come back before all this happened, it's very stressful.

"We're very frustrated because the bills will come and we don't have that money because we're not working.

"To be honest we don't know how we're going to pay for that."

Speaking about their accommodation, her husband explained: "We are here for four hours and we are crazy already. If you see the room, it's like a prison with a good bed.

"You've got to play cards, read books and sleep for 10 days, that's it."

Mrs Araujo added: "In the end I think we will find ourselves depressed."


In these quarantine hotels, any food and drink - on top of the bottle of water and three meals they are given - must be paid for out of travellers' own pocket, and obviously they are confined to their rooms.

Mrs Araujo said: "We can't leave the room.

"We miss our children. They desperately need to see us."

Another traveller, 67-year-old Zari Tadayon, is staying alone in a Heathrow Airport hotel after arriving from Dubai via Frankfurt after failing to book a flight earlier.

She said: "I tried to get back to London before the 15th but there were no flights available, everything was booked.

"I feel horrible because I live here, I have my own individual home, and also I have some medical issues which I was hoping they would consider.

"How I'm going to cope I don't know. It's going to be tough. I'm not prepared. I didn't bring books and stuff."


When asked how she was getting on, she said: "Not very happy because tomorrow is my birthday and I would have wanted to be with my family... those are the rules, what can you do?

"My room is quite basic... I think the cost is quite high for what we're going to be getting."

Passengers are being lifted straight from their arrivals lounge and taken to their quarantine hotel, of which the government has 4,963 rooms at 16 airport hotels, as well as another 58,000 on standby, according to the Department of Health and Social Care.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: World News, UK News, Coronavirus, travel, Health