Published on : Tuesday, December 7, 2021
Now, the quarantine hotels are full, leaving hundreds of Brits stuck in red list countries as they have nowhere to go.
Stranded Brits are having to pay to stay in red listed countries until there is space for them at a quarantine hotel in the UK.
Eleven countries are on the red list, including Nigeria which was added over the weekend after 21 cases of Omicron reported in England were linked to travel from the country.
The surprise addition meant some British holidaymakers were stuck abroad when the new announcement was made.
Anyone returning from a red listed country must quarantine in a designated hotel upon arrival back in the UK, at a cost of £2,285. Those who break quarantine rules may have to pay a fine of up to £10,000.
But there are limited rooms available as the government tries to sign up extra hotels to the scheme. Brit Lauren Hopkins said she faces an extra 11 days stuck in South Africa, as a lack of quarantine beds means she can’t get home.
She told that the “Flights aren’t an issue – it’s getting a hotel quarantine booking that’s keeping us all here. They haven’t put nearly enough on for the amount of us.
“We’ve been trying since Nov 28 to get a booking, with no luck. At the moment, Dec 13 is the earliest availability, meaning we come out Christmas Day and have to fund an extra 11 nights in South Africa.In all honesty, I am ashamed to be British. I and hundreds of other British citizens have been completely abandoned by our own government.
The Department for Health and Social Care has promised additional hotel space is being found.
A spokesman said that they are rapidly expanding our hotel capacity following our immediate and precautionary action against the Omicron variant. They have doubled the number of hotel rooms available from Monday and will continue to increase availability on a daily basis.
Meanwhile, a British couple who were on holiday in South Africa have said they think the government should pay their £3,700 quarantine bill after the country was added to the red list while they were there.
Over 50s specialist tour operator Saga has already cancelled some 2022 holidays due to travel uncertainty, with around 3,000 bookings affected.