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UK hotel quarantine rules challenged in court

Lawyers representing U.K. travelers are seeking a judicial review of the British government’s policy requiring a 10-day hotel quarantine for those arriving from countries deemed high risk from coronavirus.

Layers from PGMBM said on Thursday that the rules were not proportionate and harmed the civil liberties.

The U.K. currently requires travelers to spend 10 days in a hotel if they arrive from countries on the so-called “red list,” which includes more than 60 countries and territories, mostly in the developing world. This includes travelers who are vaccinated and have had a negative PCR test.

Tom Goodhead, managing partner of PGMBM, described the policy as “fundamental breach of human rights.” He noted that the cost to travelers of quarantining Thursday rose to £2,285, up from £1,750. The law firm said it wanted to see vaccinated travelers refunded their quarantine costs.

“Prisoners are entitled to more liberty than those forced to quarantine in hotels. We have all read about the horrific experiences of some of the people in these hotels. We want to see this draconian policy scrapped and those affected to be properly compensated,” said PGMBM’s Goodhead.

In an announcement last week, the Health Minister Sajid Javid justified the addition of Georgia, La Reunion, Mayotte and Mexico to the red list as this would help “protect the success of our vaccine rollout from the threat of new variants.”

As vaccines uptake increases, travel restrictions have become even more of a politically charged topic. The ongoing U.S. ban on non-essential travel from the EU — despite similar vaccination rates between the two — has been met with protests from top EU officials.

PGBM noted that the only EU countries imposing mandatory hotel quarantines are Ireland and Norway and that both have exemptions for fully-vaccinated travelers.



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