A traveller is demanding a refund from the UK government after claiming he was forced to quarantine at a rat-infested hotel.
The man from York, identified only as Anthony, 25, was alerted to the presence of rodents in his room at the Mercure hotel near Heathrow Airport.
Since arriving in the UK on July 24, he had been forced to move rooms twice because of the rats, which were entering the room along poorly boxed-in pipes.
He later contacted Labour MP Rachael Maskell to complain about his treatment.
Under current rules, arrivals from red list countries are forced to self-isolate at a government-mandated hotel for 11-days at a cost of £1,750 ($2,400) and take several Covid-19 tests before they can go home.
But some people say they were put in sub-standard accommodation by hotel operators despite the high cost of their stay.
Mercure Hotels said there was no evidence to support the claim made by the complainant.
A hotel representative said: “An external pest control professional has checked the hotel and concluded no evidence of pest activity.
“We take complaints such as this very seriously. The safety of all our guests and staff members is of the utmost importance to us and continues to be our number one focus. The hotel continues to abide by all quarantine guidelines, cleaning protocols and safety measures as set out by the government.”
In a statement issued via Ms Maskell, the MP for York Central, Anthony said: “I am disgusted and shocked that such a health and safety hazard was allowed to take place in a government quarantine hotel, which is costing me £1,750.
“I feel sick knowing rats have been in my room while I’ve been in here. If this was any normal hotel the customer would be offered a full, immediate refund. No one should have to pay £1,750 to stay in a sub-standard hotel for 10 days with a rat infestation.”
He said: “The staff here know this has been going on for months, as the manager explained on the phone, yet people are still being allowed to stay here.
“He also explained this is happening in other government quarantine hotels.”
He said: “I hope the government will be able to offer a full refund and compensation to myself and other guests who have been badly affected by the rat infestation and the extremely poor customer service from [quarantine booking service] CTM when trying to book the hotel in the first place.”
Ms Maskell has reported the situation to the Department of Health and Social Care.
She said: “Government is clearly failing the public, yet at huge public cost. Once again ministers have contracted out work to private companies and have lost sight of the people who, in this case, are forced to use these services.”