Red list chaos: Families split up in hotels hundreds of miles apart

Red list chaos: Families split up in quarantine hotels hundreds of miles apart.

Families returning from red list countries are facing chaos. Some families are being forced to stay hundreds of miles apart. Reportedly the government has had to double the number of quarantine hotel rooms available.

One family returning from South Africa found that they could not get a family room with their six-year-old child. The dad and the young boy will have to quarantine in Milton Keynes. Meanwhile, the mum will have to stay on her own at a quarantine hotel in Gatwick. The hotel stays will cost them over £4,000.

Speaking to the Times the young boy’s grandmother commented: “They haven’t told their son yet and I don’t know what the stress is going to be when he’s told.

“The hotel would not let them book for the three of them to stay [together]. When they got the two room bookings confirmed they had no choice but to take them otherwise they may have been stranded over Christmas.

“This is going to cost them around £6,000. They had to defer their flights for £250, find additional accommodation in South Africa which was £600, and then pay for the quarantine hotels.”

Olivia Blake is the MP for the couple who live in Sheffield. She commented on the quarantine hotel situation and said: “Splitting families up and one parent having the full responsibility while quarantining is a big ask.

“They’ve had to do it because they don’t want to be stranded for Christmas.

“The government needs to urgently make more family rooms available for quarantine. They did not properly fund this scheme.”

This is not the only family that has been unable to book family rooms and will be split up.

The government believes that the quarantine measures are working well against the virus. The government commented: “The quarantine measures we have in place are minimising the risk of variants coming into the UK and safeguarding the hard won progress of our vaccination programme.

“The majority of passengers who have used the managed quarantine service have been satisfied with the service and we aim to keep families together.”

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Written by

Alex Glenn

Originally from the UK, Alex is based in Almeria and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at