Richard E Grant has taken to social media to reveal the ‘grim’ conditions experienced by travellers arriving in the UK from red list countries, despite having to pay £228 per day for their quarantine stay.
The actor returned to Gatwick Airport after visiting his mother in Eswatini, where he was born and grew up, shortly after the country was added to the UK’s red list following the emergence of the Omicron variant of Covid-19.
‘I went to southern Africa to visit my 90-year-old mother and got caught by the red region COVID restrictions,’ he told his followers in a video posted to Twitter, adding that it ‘took over a week, with many cancelled flights to get home’.
Under the new restrictions, Grant was among those required to quarantine at their own expense in a hotel for 10 days, with the actor claiming he was forced to pay more than twice as much for his stay as the rate at a non-quarantine hotel nearby.
‘In quarantine at Gatwick 4* Holiday Inn (under reconstruction) charged £228 per day. These 3 meals amount to approx £20. Non quarantine Holiday Inn nearby costs £89 incl breakfast. How does Gov justify this cost to a traveller for ‘hospitality.’ You do the maths as am confounded!’ he tweeted alongside an image of the meals he’d been provided, which he described in a subsequent tweet as of ‘very poor standard’.
Grant has since deleted his tweets bemoaning his experience, including one in which he complained, ‘Why does the food have to be so grim at a compulsory cost of £228 per day? Feels punishing!’
While the actor’s situation has been met with sympathy by some, others have been less patient with his complaints, with one person replying, ‘It’s your choice to travel during a pandemic.’
Eswatini is among the 11 countries currently on the government’s travel red list, with non-UK citizens and residents banned from entering, and those who do arrive spending more than £2,000 to quarantine, Sky News reports.
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