Pakistan, Kenya, Bangladesh, and the Philippines were added this month to the red list, meaning that travellers coming into the UK from these areas would have to undertake a mandatory hotel quarantine, at a personal expense of over £1,000. This represents a significant sum of money and a huge financial burden to many individuals, who have travelled legally and leaves many of them stranded in these countries through no fault of their own.
The decision to add these particular countries to the red list came as a surprise to myself and many others, as there are other nations with higher Covid infection rate than them.
Whilst I agree that a system of hotel quarantining should be implemented for arrivals from nations most at risk of spreading the virus and variants, the Government must ensure that there is clear scientific reasoning presented behind this decision and for future decisions to add any country to the red list.
This decision comes at a cost to many within Slough and across the country, who have connections to the countries which have now been hit by the travel ban, with those having to travel for legal reasons now having to pay the significant cost of hotel quarantine. Similarly, when the travel ban was first announced I received numerous reports from constituents, who were asked to pay as much as £2,000 for a one-way flight back to the UK, whilst the previous cost of this was just £500. This financial burden could result in some individuals being left in debt, through no fault of their own.
I have personally raised this important issue with the Government. Hopefully it can be urgently addressed and the Government will provide some form of scientific basis for the reasoning behind such important decisions, which have a huge impact on many people with ties to nations like Pakistan, Kenya, Bangladesh and the Philippines.