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Stansted Airport: Government using Radisson Blu and Novotel hotels as quarantine centres for passengers returning from red list countries

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Two Stansted Airport hotels have been designated as Covid-19 quarantine centres for passengers returning to the UK from countries on the Government’s infection red list.

The Radisson Blu has been joined by the Novotel as isolation accommodation for British or Irish nationals or those with residence rights in the UK.

Anyone who has been in a red list country in the previous 10 days must arrive at one of the designated ports of entry: Heathrow, Gatwick, London City, Birmingham, Bristol and Farnborough airports. Passengers are then transferred to a Government-contracted quarantine hotel for 10 days with Covid-19 tests on days two and eight.

Radisson Blu (48172335)
Radisson Blu (48172335)

Travellers can be fined up to £10,000, imprisoned for up to 10 years or both if they do not provide accurate details about countries visited. Breaching quarantine rules also risks a £10,000 penalty.

Stansted Airport – also home to Premier Inn, Hampton by Hilton and Holiday Inn Express hotels – is not a red list designated airport and does not currently have flights arriving from any of the countries on the danger list. Departures to Turkey are carrying passengers on the outward journey only and returning empty.

A spokesman for the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said: “We do not publish the names of Government-contracted hotels or the number of hotels contracted in any given area.”

Novotel (48172333)
Novotel (48172333)

One mum and her two young sons who travelled from the United Arab Emirates and were transferred to the Radisson Blu have already complained about the quarantine process and conditions and restrictions on site.

A spokeswoman for the hotel said: “It is correct that the hotel is part of the hotel quarantine programme and we take our role in assisting the UK Government with its hotel quarantine programme very seriously, to help provide a safe and comfortable experience for travellers. We work with the DHSC and their representatives to provide this service based on the parameters set by the Government.

“All staff at our properties have been trained in the Radisson Hotels Safety Protocols, which includes mandatory use of PPE along with sanitation and hygiene procedures, as well as regular training for all staff on these procedures.

“Our team is working in partnership with the UK Government-contracted security staff at the hotel. The security team manage all guest movements at the property to help keep them safe and secure.

“A team of DHSC-contracted risk management professionals are on site daily and medical assistance is present on a 24-hour basis at the hotel. They provide an initial assessment of any risks or mental or physical health needs related to the quarantine guests and have an escalation process in place.”

Year 11 GCSE girls at Herts and Essex High School were due to enjoy a celebration evening at the Novotel on Thursday July 8 but the hotel was forced to cancel the booking as a result of its new status. The students will be partying a day earlier at the Manor of Groves in High Wych instead.

A spokesman for Novotel said: “We can confirm that the hotel is one of a number of hotels being used as quarantine venues around the UK for passengers returning from red zone countries. As a result, guests with pre-booked business during the period that the hotel is being used for quarantine purposes have been contacted and alternative options have been offered.”

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