The mum and daughter-in-law have been left appalled at conditions in the hotel they are quarantining in
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A mother 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.
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.
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The pair are quarantining in the Radisson Blu at Stansted
"We are treated like prisoners and that should not be the case.
"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?"
"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 said the food is 'disgusting'
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 they will not be allowed to leave the hotel until Saturday at midnight – and then they'll have to make their way home to Teesside.
"Everybody has said the same thing. It is ridiculous," said the daughter-in-law, 32.
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"It is actually a beautiful hotel, it is just the way it is run. We have had to buy our own food shopping from Asda and get it delivered to the hotel as the food is terrible, that's more money after we have already paid £2,440."
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.
The pair said they don't mind quarantining
A spokesman for the Department for Health and Social Care said in the first instance, guests should raise any concerns directly with the hotel.
Hotels providing managed quarantine facilities are able to meet the vast majority of requirements and must provide guests with three
appropriate meals a day, access to WIFI, welfare and health support.
Wellbeing support is also provided to individuals during their quarantine period.
“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.
They said they have to buy extra food from Asda and get it delivered
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“Hotels do their utmost to take any necessary steps to address concerns raised by guests.”
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."
It continued: "Let us explain in general how we handle these situations.
"All guests receive food deliveries and water supplies daily, as per the specifications set by the government.
"The services include providing three meals for guests based on set nutritional/dietary standards that also cater to religious requirements.
"The food menus are revised on a weekly basis. To the extent possible, we implement our guests’ feedback on the menus to ensure it is satisfactory for all our guests and try to incorporate additional guest-specific requirements for additional dishes.
"When possible, we also provide bigger rooms for guests who, based on identified medical needs, need more space to exercise.
"All staff at our properties have been trained in the Radisson Hotels Safety Protocols which includes mandatory use of PPE along with
sanitation and hygiene procedures, as well as regular training for all staff on these procedures.
"Our team is working in partnership with the UK Government-contracted security staff at the hotel. The security team manage all guest movements at the property to help keep them safe and secure.
"A team of DHSC-contracted risk management professionals are on site daily and medical assistance is also present on a 24-hour basis at the hotel.
"They provide an initial assessment of any risks or mental or physical health needs related to the quarantine guests and has an escalation process in place.
"We continuously take all feedback from guests on board to help continue to meet the standard of service in our property whilst complying with the requirements set by the DHSC."