Hotel quarantine ‘guest’ claims policy is against her human rights


A British businessman who will be among first people to leave hotel quarantine at midnight tonight after flying in to the UK from Dubai unaware of the rules said today he ‘can’t wait’ to see his wife and children.

Wayne Kelly was part of the initial batch of travellers taken straight from London Heathrow Airport and into hotels when the new laws began, and was also fined £500 on top of the £1,750 for his accommodation for ten days.

Separately, the father of a 16-year-old boy with autism who is quarantining in a hotel at Heathrow after returning from Brazil has said the experience has left his son depressed, physically unwell and unable to eat properly. 

It comes after new rules introduced last Monday mean people arriving in England must quarantine in a hotel for ten days at their own cost if they have been to a country with a high Covid risk, such as Portugal or Brazil.

Mr Kelly, 37, told MailOnline today: ‘I feel like I have been through a prison sentence. I was thinking of having a poster on the wall where I could just cross one day off each day. I can’t wait to see my wife Nikki and our children. 

Wayne Kelly, 37, of Birmingham, was part of the initial batch of travellers taken straight from London Heathrow Airport and into hotels when the new laws began, and was also fined £500 on top of the £1,750 for his accommodation for ten days

A quarantined traveller holds a sign up to the window of her room at the Radisson Blu Edwardian hotel near Heathrow today

A quarantined traveller holds a sign up to the window of her room at the Radisson Blu Edwardian hotel near Heathrow today

A man wearing a Boca Juniors football shirt gives a thumbs- down at the Radisson Blu Edwardian near Heathrow this morning

A man wearing a Boca Juniors football shirt gives a thumbs- down at the Radisson Blu Edwardian near Heathrow this morning

Nelio Salles De Siqueira, a chef from Peckham in south London, said his autistic 16-year-old son Caique Pires Salles will barely leave his bed after being forced to stay at the Holiday Inn near Heathrow Airport following their return to the UK from Brazil

Nelio Salles De Siqueira, a chef from Peckham in south London, said his autistic 16-year-old son Caique Pires Salles will barely leave his bed after being forced to stay at the Holiday Inn near Heathrow Airport following their return to the UK from Brazil

A mobile Covid-19 testing unit van is seen at the Radisson Blu Edwardian hotel at Heathrow Airport this afternoon

A mobile Covid-19 testing unit van is seen at the Radisson Blu Edwardian hotel at Heathrow Airport this afternoon

‘I just want go back to Birmingham to my home and my family and put this all behind me. I should never been here in the first place. I had a negative test when I left Dubai.

‘My wife was picking me up in her car and taking me straight home. I would not have come into contact with any public. But I did come into contact with the public at Heathrow, so the whole thing was very confusing.

Father autistic boy, 16, warns hotel quarantine is damaging his son’s health

Nelio Salles De Siqueira and his son Caique Pires Salles, 16

Nelio Salles De Siqueira and his son Caique Pires Salles, 16

The father of a teenager with autism who is quarantining in a hotel at Heathrow has said the experience has left his son depressed, physically unwell and unable to eat properly.

Nelio Salles De Siqueira, a chef from Peckham in south London, said 16-year-old Caique Pires Salles will barely leave his bed after being forced to stay at the Holiday Inn near the airport following their return to the UK from Brazil.

He spoke of his anguish at being unable to help as his son begged to be taken home, despite notes from his psychiatrist and school warning that the experience would be ‘psychologically unhealthy’.

‘It’s quite frustrating that he had to go through it,’ Mr Salles De Siqueira said.

Mr Salles De Siqueira travelled to Brazil with his wife and son to attend a family funeral and, while they were there, new rules on quarantining for people returning to England from red list countries were introduced.

Before coming home, the family tried to find out if it would be possible to get an exemption from the hotel stay because of the effect it would have on Caique’s wellbeing, but were unable to find anybody who could help.

Mr Salles De Siqueira said: ‘We got notes from his psychiatrist, from his school saying it’s psychologically unhealthy, because his mental health is not great. But even like that, nobody would listen.’ 

‘I would have been people among those passengers who were allowed to go home and yet I was put into hotel quarantine. And I’ve been here for nearly two weeks But I’m really glad that my release day is nearly here.

Mr Kelly, who deals in real estate, added: ‘You can’t really tell what’s going on the world from a window. All I can see is a McDonald’s every day and cars pulling up for their takeaways.

‘Apart from the few breaks in the car park, I’ve just been sleeping all day, getting up late in the afternoon. My business has suffered, my family are suffered and I have suffered. I’m glad it is all coming to an end.

‘It is inhuman to have kept us in here like this. And then charge £1750 for the privilege.’

It comes as another quarantine hotel guest complained the Government was breaching her human rights by forcing her to stay there when she could self-isolate in her home and has tested negative for Covid-19.

The woman held up a handwritten message on a piece of paper behind the window of her room at the Radisson Blu Edwardian hotel near Heathrow this morning to complain about her treatment.

Her message shown to photographers said: ‘Government controlled hotel quarantine plan is in contravention of my human rights when I have a home to go to for self-isolation and have tested negative for Covid.’

Other guests staying at the four-star hotel were also pictured today giving a thumbs down as they leaned out of their window, with one of them wearing a football shirt of Argentinian team Boca Juniors.

The Government has defended the scheme, insisting it is required to provide higher protection against the threat of Covid-19 variants by enabling health officials to better track any new cases which might be brought into Britain.

But data has not yet been revealed on how many people have tested positive for coronavirus since going into a quarantine hotel. Ministers are expected to publish an update on this information in the coming weeks.

Other hotel quarantine guests have protested in recent days with a series of homemade signs reading ‘HM Prison Heathrow’ and ‘What a way to spend your birthday’ and ‘Next time I’m coming home in a dinghy via Dover’.

More than 100 people a day are going into the quarantine hotels, MPs were told earlier this week. There are about 1,200 people currently in the quarantine hotels.

The first passengers arrived on Monday last week and they will be allowed to return home today. 

Arrivals who lie about where they have been – and their possible exposure to new Covid variants – could be jailed for a maximum of ten years, and if they leave before the end of quarantine they could be fined up to £10,000.  

A passenger entering quarantine is helped in to the Holiday Inn hotel near London Heathrow Airport this afternoon

A passenger entering quarantine is helped in to the Holiday Inn hotel near London Heathrow Airport this afternoon

Two men give a thumbs-down gesture from a window at the Radisson Blu Edwardian hotel near Heathrow Airport today

Two men give a thumbs-down gesture from a window at the Radisson Blu Edwardian hotel near Heathrow Airport today

A man exercises under supervision of security in the car park of Renaissance London Heathrow Hotel at Heathrow today

A man exercises under supervision of security in the car park of Renaissance London Heathrow Hotel at Heathrow today

A woman looks out from a window at the Radisson Blu Edwardian hotel near London Heathrow Airport this afternoon

A woman looks out from a window at the Radisson Blu Edwardian hotel near London Heathrow Airport this afternoon

Two passengers stuck in the same room at the Radisson Blu Hotel near Heathrow show their displeasure at the scheme today

Two passengers stuck in the same room at the Radisson Blu Hotel near Heathrow show their displeasure at the scheme today

Meanwhile the father of a 16-year-old boy with autism who is quarantining in a hotel at Heathrow has said the experience has left his son depressed, physically unwell and unable to eat properly.

What are the rules for entering Britain? 

  • You cannot enter the UK if you’ve been in or through a country on the banned travel list (known as the ‘red list’) in the last 10 days, unless you’re British, Irish or you have the right to live in the UK
  • You must either quarantine where you’re staying or in a managed quarantine hotel for 10 days
  • What you need to do depends on where you travel in the 10 days before you arrive – if you travel in or through a country on the banned travel list within 10 days, you must stay managed quarantine hotel; if not, you can quarantine at home
  • You need to provide your journey and contact details in the 48 hours before you arrive in the UK. You must do this by completing the online passenger locator form
  • You’ll need to show proof that you’ve completed the form when you arrive at the UK border as well as proof of a negative PCR or antigen test taken three days before departure 
  • You could be fined £500 when you arrive at the border if you cannot provide proof that you have had a negative coronavirus test
  • You do not need a test if you’re travelling within the UK, the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey; from Ireland; from Ascension, Falkland Islands or St Helena; and children under 11 do not need a test 
  • After arriving at a quarantine hotel you will be tested on days two and eight of your stay using a PCR test self-administered in your room
  • In Scotland, arrivals from all international destinations have to quarantine, even if they are not on the red list. 

Nelio Salles De Siqueira, a chef from Peckham in South London, said Caique Pires Salles will barely leave his bed after being forced to stay at the Holiday Inn near the airport following their return to the UK from Brazil.

He spoke of his anguish at being unable to help as his son begged to be taken home, despite notes from his psychiatrist and school warning that the experience would be ‘psychologically unhealthy’.

‘It’s quite frustrating that he had to go through it,’ Mr Salles De Siqueira said.

Mr Salles De Siqueira travelled to Brazil with his wife and son to attend a family funeral and, while they were there, new rules on quarantining for people returning to England from red list countries were introduced.

Before coming home, the family tried to find out if it would be possible to get an exemption from the hotel stay because of the effect it would have on Caique’s wellbeing, but were unable to find anybody who could help.

Mr Salles De Siqueira said: ‘We got notes from his psychiatrist, from his school saying it’s psychologically unhealthy, because his mental health is not great. But even like that, nobody would listen.’

Mr Salles De Siqueira said it is extremely challenging for his son to be confined in an unfamiliar environment.

‘He’s got his routines, he’s got certain foods that he doesn’t eat,’ he said. ‘Here we can’t get any of (the foods he eats). He actually hasn’t eaten much since he arrived.’ 

Caique has had two visits from a medic since arriving at the hotel because of diarrhoea, and is ‘quite depressed’, his father said.

Mr Salles De Siqueira said Caique barely got out of bed for the first three days they were in the Holiday Inn, adding that he has ‘never ever seen’ his son do that before.

‘He’s begging us to do something, to take him out of here,’ he said. ‘That’s when you feel that you are just unable to help.’

Mr Salles De Siqueira praised hotel staff, saying that ‘whatever you need they are there for you’, but added ‘still there’s that feeling of a prison’.

And he said that, while they were in Heathrow Airport, some staff were ‘rude’ and ‘unfriendly’. He added: ‘People were actually scolding you… really, really afraid of you running away, as if you have committed a crime.’

A woman gestures from a window at the Radisson Blu Edwardian hotel at London Heathrow Airport this afternoon

A woman gestures from a window at the Radisson Blu Edwardian hotel at London Heathrow Airport this afternoon

A guest at the Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotel near London Heathrow Airport looks out from the window of her room today

A guest at the Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotel near London Heathrow Airport looks out from the window of her room today

The Radisson Blu Edwardian near London Heathrow Airport, pictured today, is among the hotels in the quarantine scheme

The Radisson Blu Edwardian near London Heathrow Airport, pictured today, is among the hotels in the quarantine scheme

Two quarantined travellers in the same room make a thumbs down gesture out of the window in the Radisson Blu hotel today

Two quarantined travellers in the same room make a thumbs down gesture out of the window in the Radisson Blu hotel today

Mr Salles De Siqueira said he fully accepts the need to quarantine after arriving back from Brazil, but said he does not understand why it has to be in a hotel rather than at home.

33 ‘high-risk’ nations from which arriving travellers will have to quarantine in hotels

Angola

Argentina

Bolivia

Botswana

Brazil

Burundi

Cape Verde

Chile

Colombia

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Ecuador

Eswatini

French Guiana

Guyana

Lesotho

Malawi

Mauritius 

Mozambique

Namibia

Panama

Paraguay

Peru

Portugal (including Madeira and the Azores)

Rwanda

Seychelles

South Africa

Suriname

Tanzania

United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Uruguay

Venezuela

Zambia

Zimbabwe 

The family changed flights in Madrid on their way back from Brazil and in doing so mixed with passengers who were not returning from red list countries.

‘We spent two hours in the same environment, breathing the same air, eating, talking to each other throughout the flight,’ he said.

‘Then we arrived here and the people that came from a red-listed country had to go to a queue and the other people, that were in contact with all these other people, could go through.

‘Based on that, it kind of defeats the purpose of the hotel quarantine.’

Mr Salles De Siqueira said that, although any change is likely to be too late to benefit his family, the Government should reassess the rules so others do not find themselves in the same situation.

‘I just don’t want any other family with the same issues to have to go through it,’ he said. ‘If we create this awareness it might be a way out.’

Last week British father Anthony Pium, 30, from Leyton, East London, made a dramatic bid for freedom from the Radisson Blu after claiming he was being held ‘under duress’.

He tried to get out for ‘some fresh air’ before being surrounded by security guards. Mr Pium, a father-of-one who works for a travel agency, said he flew to London from Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Wednesday night.

A YouGov poll found last week 90 per cent of Britons are in favour of the current hotel quarantine scheme, while 72 per cent thought the rules should apply to all arrivals, not just those from the 33 countries on the UK’s ‘red list’.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said last week: ‘We recognise the impacts restrictions have on many and are grateful for the public’s continued efforts in helping to tackle this global pandemic by following the rules to protect others and save lives.

‘The new managed quarantine scheme and enhanced testing regime are necessary to provide a further level of protection against the threat of COVID-19 variants, by enabling us to better track any new cases which might be brought into the country.

‘All hotels are providing daily health and welfare support, and staff will seek medical support if they have health concerns about individual guests.’ 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk