Couple with 5-week-old baby returning to UK from Abu Dhabi slam 'extortionate' hotel quarantine cost

A COUPLE returning to the UK after four years of living in Abu Dhabi has blasted the “extortionate amount of money" travellers have to pay for compulsory hotel quarantine.

Beckie Morris and her husband Matthew and their five-week-old daughter are set to return to the United Arab Emirates but face a Covid quarantine bill of thousands of pounds when they do.

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From Monday, UK nationals or residents returning to England from 33 countries will be required to spend 10 days in Government-designated accommodation at a cost of £1,750 for an individual.

Anyone trying to flout the quarantine rules will be slapped with a fine of up to £10,000 and face jail if they lie about their holiday destination.

The tough rules come as the country toughens up its borders amid fears over vaccine-busting mutations of the virus.

But Mrs Morris said there was "no information" on the Government website about what to do with young children.

She said: "We'd have to arrange all the formula. I don't know what we do about sterilising bottles, or nappies or washing their clothes — there's all this unknown. I tried to reach out, and I know it's still really early days, but there's just no information.

"They haven't really laid out what actually happens when you get to that hotel and I don't think that's going to be known until the first person goes in there."

People shouldn't be used as guinea pigs — especially not paying that amount, that is an extortionate amount of money

She added: "People shouldn't be used as guinea pigs — especially not paying that amount, that is an extortionate amount of money."

The couple, who are both paramedics, planned to return to Kent where Mr Morris has been offered a job.

Mrs Morris said the hotel quarantine announcement had left her in "tears most nights".

She said the family would be "stranded" in the United Arab Emirates if they do not return, as both have given up their jobs, but delays in getting their daughter a passport meant they had not been able to come home sooner.

Mr Morris has been vaccinated against Covid-19 and she said the area where they live is "safe and secure".

"It feels like we are being punished," she added.

'WHY ISN'T AMERICAN ON RED LIST'

Due to the expense, the family considered travelling to a non-red list country for 10 days before returning to the UK.

Mrs Morris said: "That's what it is forcing people to do.

"But we've looked online and there are hardly any countries open anywhere. So realistically we are looking at having to spend this money."

"(The Government) hasn't included places like America where the case numbers are ridiculous.

"Here we have access to four vaccines, we have Covid tests that cost approximately £15 and you can go and get one anywhere. 

“People have to be tested every week here.

"They are doing national drives again, going around people's houses by blocks of apartments, knocking on their door, and everyone having tests so they can find all the asymptomatic cases, and they can sort it all out."

Not everyone returning has been abroad on holiday, she added.

"They seem to be penalising us, forgetting there is a really big ex-pat community that has really struggled."

People arriving from 'red list' countries will have to spend a week and a half isolating under guard in hotels.

But even those coming in from other locations that are not on the "red-list" will now be tested twice during their mandatory 10-day isolation at home.

 

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