A group of lawyers are seeking to challenge the British government’s “unlawful” hotel quarantine policy that forces travellers entering the UK from a ‘Red List’ country to isolate in an approved hotel for 10-days or face the threat of imprisonment or a huge fine. The cost to quarantine was bumped up by £500 to £2,285 on Thursday.
Lawyers from PGMBM are attempting to bring a second judicial review on the quarantine policy using human rights laws, arguing that prisoners are granted more rights than international travellers. If successful in having the policy declared unlawful, they are hoping to secure tens of millions of pounds in compensation for thousands of travellers.
The basis of their argument is that hotel quarantine is a disproportionate and unnecessary response to the threat posed by fully vaccinated travellers who have also tested negative for the virus before setting off for the UK.
“Mandatory hotel quarantine is a fundamental breach of human rights. It has led to the false imprisonment of people who are fully vaccinated and have tested negative,” argues Tom Goodhead, Managing Partner of PGMBM.
“We want to see this draconian policy scrapped and those affected to be properly compensated,” Goodhead continued.
Ireland and Norway are the only other European countries to have introduced hotel quarantine but even they have eased rules for fully vaccinated travellers.
“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,” Goodhead commented, saying the policy was at odds with Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s calls to “live with the virus”.
There are around 61 countries on the Red List but the actual number changes regularly as minister’s swap countries on and off the list at a moments notice. The Red List was first introduced in January but despite promises to make travel rules simpler, the Red List remains in force.
Minister’s argue hotel quarantine is essential to prevent variants of concern from being imported but officials refuse to share the data on how a country ends up on the Red List.
Photo Credit: Brookgardener / Shutterstock.com
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.