From the blog

UK: Lawyers Challenge Government’s Hotel Quarantine Policy

A London-based law firm has issued a court proceeding against the UK government’s quarantine hotel policy.

PGMBM has previously sought a judicial review of the regulations which require travellers coming from the government’s red list countries to spend 11 nights in a quarantine hotel at a cost of £2,285.

A rule applicable for everyone, even if they are fully vaccinated and test negative for Covid.

PGMBM said a blanket approach was an “unlawful deprivation of liberty” for those who were inoculated against Covid-19 and a violation of their human rights.

On Monday, Owen Hancock, 35, and Emily Mennie, 30, were due to enter hotel quarantine on their return from a break in South Africa. They say they were left stranded when the country was added to the UK’s red list due to concerns about the Omicron coronavirus variant.

The couple, from Tooting, London, were visiting Ms Mennie’s family for the first time since the start of the pandemic when their travel plans were thrown into chaos.

When they finally managed to book their journey home, they were told hotel quarantine was full and they would have to reschedule their flights and PCR tests.

They say this added to their financial woes and are now facing a £4,000 credit card bill on their return.

The couple have set up an online petition, which has attracted more than 40,000 signatures, calling on the Government to fund hotel quarantine costs for travellers caught in the same situation when new measures are imposed at short notice.

Tom Goodhead, managing partner at PGMBM, said: “It’s disappointing that the government hasn’t yet realised that this policy is a fundamental breach of people’s human rights. Law abiding citizens who have been double vaccinated should be free from quarantine.

“The idea that they need to pay for the privilege of their own imprisonment is outrageous.”

The firm said, if the claim was successful, double vaccinated travellers would no longer have to quarantine at hotels and the Government could be made to refund the fees for all those who were jabbed and still required to stay in a hotel.