The government has been accused of repeatedly ignoring concerns that quarantine rules for arriving passengers might not stop the spread of new coronavirus variants in the UK trade unions revealed two days before the action Become law.
The GMB Union said its members and airport staff had told the Home Office in the past fourteen days that they were concerned about passengers aged 33 and over designated high-risk countries were allowed to mingle with other travelers and employees before entering the hotel quarantine for 10 days £ 1,750.
Nadine Houghton, GMB National Officer, told the observer about the long-awaited quarantine measures in government-designated accommodations that will go into effect on Monday: “When people get off the Red List countries, when they go with passengers who are not quarantined – and also with employees – are pushed into areas, you have failed at the first hurdle.
“Our members work with Heathrow airportThe ground staff, the security guards, have been expressing concerns for two weeks. Heathrow just isn’t safe right now.
“We’re talking about the spread of new strains, so it’s not good for people from different countries to come in in a small space.”
She added that although the government had introduced measures that International arrivals in the UK were required to have a recent negative coronavirus test. There was still no way of knowing if a negative test was real.
Meanwhile, the Unite union, which represents thousands of hospitality and hotel workers, said it still hadn’t heard from the government despite publicly expressing concerns that quarantine hotel guidelines are not adequately protecting workers from possible exposure to Covid -19 could protect. On Saturday, a Unite spokesman urged employees not to go to work if they felt unsafe.
In a separate development, a statement from Heathrow Airport reiterated its concern about “loopholes” in government quarantine measures just two days before they became law.
A Heathrow spokesman said: “There are still some significant gaps and we still need to get the necessary assurances. Ministers must ensure that adequate resources and appropriate protocols are in place for every step of the entire end-to-end process from aircraft to hotel so as not to compromise the safety of passengers and airport workers. “
Other flaws in measures also emerged late Saturday when parents of unaccompanied minors returning to school in the UK urged the government to reconsider hotel quarantine rules. A father pleaded, “Don’t lock my children up.”
Hundreds of children whose parents live and work abroad but are in boarding schools in the UK are keen to return if the government allows schools to reopen.
Elsewhere, families complained that they were being treated as “guinea pigs” due to confused hotel quarantine rules.
Beckie Morris, 30, had plans to return to the UK with her family but is now facing a quarantine bill of thousands of pounds if they do.
The new mother told the Press Association news agency that the government’s website had “no information” about what to do with young children.
Regulations were published on Friday according to which people from countries on the “Red List” must be quarantined in hotels. They contain information on how to book their “managed self-isolation package” which includes a hotel, transportation and testing.
The home office was asked for a comment.