A mum and daughter-in-law who returned to Britain from a trip to red list Turkey have hit out at the quarantine hotel they've been placed in branding it "like prison".
The pair, from Teesside, feel the treatment is poor, meals are left outside their room door and are low quality – and they can't even open the window to let the fresh air in, TeesideLive reports.
They claim they are only allowed outside for two lots of 45 minutes a day and requests to go out to smoke are greeted with delays, they say.
The pair, who flew to Istanbul recently where one had surgery, had to pay £1,220 each to stay in the hotel – a government requirement for all travellers returning from a red list country under coronavirus rules.
Neither woman has any issue with having to quarantine following their trip but both say their experience at the Radisson Blu at Stansted Airport leaves a lot to be desired, especially given the cost.
"To be honest, it is like the hotel from hell," said one of the Teessiders, who is 47.
"We are treated like prisoners and that should not be the case.
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"Me and my daughter-in-law paid £1,200 each, that's how much it cost us to be here.
"The food is disgusting.
"My daughter-in-law is on medication and she needs to take her tablets with food, she asked for a piece of toast and later a piece of naan bread arrived with a bit of butter. She argued and argued for a piece of toast and they said they'd do it as a one-off – what are we paying that money for?"
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"It states in the welcome pack we are allowed out twice a day for 45 minutes. My argument is we are not in jail," she added.
The pair tried to get a flight out of Istanbul when they realised it was on the red list but were told they wouldn't be allowed to get on a plane unless they had a quarantine hotel booked for when they landed in the UK.
They landed at Heathrow at 8.50pm last Wednesday and reached the hotel at 2.30am in the morning. They say they weren't even offered a bottle of water or a sandwich.
The pair have both had covid tests and both tested negative, and they'll have another this Thursday but not be allowed to leave the hotel until Saturday at midnight – and then they'll have to make their way home to Teesside.
Coronavirus rules say everyone who arrives into England and has been in a red list country must quarantine in a managed quarantine hotel for 10 full days from the point of their arrival.
A spokesman for the Department for Health and Social Care said in the first instance, guests should raise any concerns directly with the hotel.
"Our top priority has always been protecting the public and the robust border and testing regime we have in place is helping minimise the risk of new variants coming into the UK," said the spokesman.
"The government continues to ensure every person in quarantine gets the support they need and all managed quarantine facilities are accommodating the vast majority of people's requirements.
"Hotels do their utmost to take any necessary steps to address concerns raised by guests."
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The Radisson Blu issued this statement on the women's claims, saying: "We take our role in assisting the UK government with its hotel quarantine programme very seriously – to help provide a safe and comfortable experience for travellers.
"We work with the Department for Health and Social Care and their representatives to provide this service based on the parameters set by the government.
"For privacy reasons, we cannot share information related to the specific guests, but we can confirm that we are in close dialogue with the guest to make her stay as comfortable as possible."
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