A London law firm has launched a legal challenge against the UK's “disproportionate” and “arbitrary” hotel quarantine policy.
PGMBM argues that “detaining” people for 10 days in a hotel after arriving from a red list country, even if they are double vaccinated against Covid-19 and have tested negative for the virus, is a fundamental breach of human rights.
From Thursday, the cost of self-isolating for 11 nights at a UK hotel will rise from £1,750 to £2,285 ($2,426.6 to $3,168.4).
“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,” said Tom Goodhead, the managing partner of PGMBM.
“Prisoners are entitled to more liberty than those forced to quarantine in hotels. We have all read about the horrific experiences of some of the people in these hotels. We want to see this draconian policy scrapped and those affected to be properly compensated.
“The only other European countries that have mandatory quarantine for travellers involving detention are Ireland and Norway. But both have amended their schemes so that fully vaccinated travellers do not need to quarantine. The UK must follow suit immediately.”
The UK government is urging people not to travel to the approximately 60 countries on its red list.
Mr Goodhead said the majority of those who had got in touch with his firm were not travelling to red list countries as tourists.
“They are often travelling for emergency or urgent reasons and would not be travelling unless they felt it was absolutely necessary. They should not be detained in this way if they are fully vaccinated and have tested negative,” he said.