FRANTIC travellers flew back to Britain last night to dodge hotel quarantine amid fears rooms could be Covid hotspots.
Flights full of people desperate to avoid paying £1,750 for an enforced ten-day isolation landed at Heathrow.
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Anyone arriving from one of 33 “red-list” countries must hole up in the designated accommodation from today.
The first are due to land at Gatwick at 4.15pm on a flight from holiday island Madeira, part of red-listed Portugal.
Stephanie Lvovich, 50, and daughter Ava, 13, were among those flying into Heathrow yesterday from Dubai.
She said: “We booked a flight as soon as we heard about the hotel quarantine.”
Tom Weston, 24, arrived from Doha, Qatar, after visiting family in South Africa. He said: “I’ve been very keen to get in. I wouldn’t cope well with two weeks in a hotel . . . and the expense.”
Heathrow warned “significant gaps” still existed in the end-to-end aircraft to hotel process which must be solved to avoid “compromising” passenger and staff safety.
Meanwhile, Meher Nawab, boss of the London Hotel Group, said many airport hotels use central air flow ventilation systems that could increase Covid spread risk.
In an email to the Crown Commercial Service, which is booking accommodation, he said an outbreak in Australia’s quarantine hotels was linked to the air conditioning.
He said: “Quarantine hotels are becoming a bit of a hub where the virus is spreading.”
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