A mother and daughter-in-law who recently returned to the UK from Turkey claim they are “treated like prisoners” at their quarantine hotel.
The couple, who wanted to remain anonymous, told the story TeesideLive that they even bought groceries in the supermarket as the meals on offer are “terrible”.
Turkey is currently on the UK government’s red list for outbound travel, which means an expensive 10-day stay in an approved hotel is mandatory upon return.
The women, who each had to pay £ 1,220 to stay at the Radisson Blu at Stansted Airport, are allowed to spend 90 minutes outside their room every day.
But they said requests for smoking breaks were affected by delays and their room window would not open.
“We are being treated like prisoners and that shouldn’t be the case,” said the 47-year-old mother.
“The food is disgusting.
“My daughter-in-law takes medication and has to take her pills with the food, she asked for a piece of toast and later a piece of naan bread came with a little butter. They argued and argued for a piece of toast and they said they would do it one time – what are we paying the money for? “
“The welcome package says that we are allowed out twice a day for 45 minutes. My argument is that we are not in jail, ”she added.
The couple said they had traveled to Istanbul for surgery and only discovered Turkey was on the red list while trying to get a flight home.
They returned to Heathrow last Wednesday June 2nd at 8:50 p.m. and reached the hotel at 2:30 p.m.
Both tested negative for the coronavirus and will be leaving the hotel on Saturday.
“Everyone said the same thing. It’s ridiculous,” said the 32-year-old daughter-in-law.
“It’s actually a nice hotel, it’s just the way it’s run.
“We had to buy our own groceries from Asda and have them delivered to the hotel as the food is terrible. That’s more money after paying £ 2,440.”
A spokesman for the Ministry of Health and Welfare said guests should first report any concerns to hotel staff.
“Our top priority has always been to protect the public and the robust border and testing regime we have put in place is helping to minimize the risk of new variants in the UK,” they said.
“The government continues to ensure that every person in quarantine gets the support they need, and all quarantine facilities managed meet the vast majority of people’s needs.
“The hotels are doing their best to take all necessary steps to address the concerns expressed by guests.”
The DHSC added that quarantine hotels are required to provide their guests with three reasonable meals a day, access to WiFi, social assistance and health support.
A statement from Radisson Blu said: “We take our role very seriously in helping the UK government with their hotel quarantine program – to provide travelers with a safe and comfortable experience.
“We are working with the Department of Health and Social Welfare and its agents to deliver this service based on parameters set by the government.
“For data protection reasons, we cannot share any information about the individual guests, but we can confirm that we are in close dialogue with the guest in order to make their stay as pleasant as possible.”
It went on: “Let us explain in general how we deal with these situations.
“All guests receive daily food and water deliveries as required by the government.
“The services include the provision of three meals for the guests according to set nutritional / diet standards that also meet religious requirements.
“The menus are revised weekly. As far as possible, we implement the feedback from our guests on the menus in such a way that it is satisfactory for all of our guests and try to bring in additional guest-specific requests for additional dishes.
“If possible, we also offer larger rooms for guests who need more space to exercise due to the medical needs identified.
“All employees at our hotels have been trained in Radisson Hotels safety protocols, which include the mandatory use of PPE and sanitary and hygienic procedures, as well as regular training for all employees on these procedures.
“Our team works with the hotel’s UK government security guards. The security team manages all guest movements around the property to keep it safe and secure.
“A team of risk management experts contracted by the DHSC is on site every day and medical help is available in the hotel around the clock.
“They offer an initial assessment of any risks or psychological or physical health needs in connection with the quarantine guests and have set up an escalation process.
“We constantly take all feedback from guests on board in order to continue to meet the service standard in our hotel and at the same time to meet the requirements of the DHSC.”