September 13, (THEWILL) – A law firm in Britain is perfecting plans to sue the Boris Jonson-led government over the UK’s quarantine hotel policy.
According to the policy that classifies travellers from different countries into red, amber and green categories, passengers must spend 11 nights in a quarantined hotel on returning from Red List countries, even if fully vaccinated and testing negative for COVID-19.
Nigeria is on the UK’s Amber List that contains some 150 countries.
THEWILL gathered that the Johnson government raised the price of hotel quarantine for single travellers from £1,750 to £2,285 in August, with no additional cost if the guests have children.
If double vaccinated, travellers from places on this list need not self-isolate, otherwise they must quarantine for 10 days. Unvaccinated or single-vaccinated passengers must take a pre-departure test and a PCR test on day two and day eight with the option for “test to release” on day five to end self-isolation early, while those vaccinated will take a pre-arrival test and a test on day two of arriving back into the country.
THEWILL’s investigations show that over 100,000 passengers have passed through hotel quarantine in England since the policy surfaced in February this year.
The London-based law firm, PGMBM, said it has called for a judicial review of the policy, a call the government has so far refused.
More than 60 locations, including Kenya and many African and Latin American countries, are currently on the Red List.
If the suit becomes successful, double-vaccinated travellers would no longer have to quarantine in hotels. In addition, the government would refund fees to all the vaccinated who were compelled to take up such temporary lodgings.
PGMBM said it is launching a legal case representing “multiple” clients. It calls the policy a violation of “fundamental human rights” to free movement.
The firm has sent out notices for anyone forced to stay in hotel quarantine to register their details to facilitate a class action to force the reversal of the UK policy.
The government argues that the policy is part of its “decisive action” to protect the country, pointing out that other countries have taken similar measures.
PGMBM had in the past won cases on the quarantine policy, including getting the government to offer the option to pay hotel bills in 12 monthly instalments for travellers facing financial hardship.
Nigeria last week asked international flights not to deny boarding to travellers who have difficulty logging in their COVID-19 status evidence, according to a circular titled: “Permission For Airlines To Board Passengers Travelling To Nigeria Who Are Unable To Show Evidence Of Payment For Day Seven COVID-19 PCR Test Or Generate Paid QR Code/Permit To Fly.”