Friday, July 09, 2021

Passenger stuck at Heathrow Airport for 8 hours calls it 'Britain's worst Covid hotspot'

A man returning to the UK from India had to wait for eight hours without food and water before reaching his quarantine hotel in Gatwick.

Mr Paul, 39, who preferred not to give his first name, flew from India, which is on the UK’s ‘red list’, to Heathrow Airport on June 28.

The IT consultant from South London, who is originally from India, was forced to wait hours in packed queues before his ten-day isolation, according to My London.

Despite arriving at the airport at around 7.45am he only reached his quarantine hotel in Gatwick after 4.30pm.

Mr Paul, who had been in India since September with his wife, said there were almost 1,000 people in the immigration hall.

He said: “All of the queues, everywhere [there was] absolutely no social distancing. People were frustrated, many were exhausted. Social distancing was their last concern…

“That’s my biggest concern if [the government is] enforcing an institutional quarantine [and] you have flights full of people and they are in a very confined space, no social distancing whatsoever. What’s the point of the ten day quarantine after that?

“I think that’s the biggest hotspot I’ve seen so far, people would have got the disease there, definitely.”

During this eight-hour delay he did not have access to food or water, as all the shops were in a different terminal.

He said: “[There were] some really old people who wanted water, some of them were starving [and] wanted food .

“Nobody offered water, nobody talked to us. That’s the worst part.

“We were all clueless, the whole treatment was subhuman.”

He also said Heathrow is the “biggest hotspot” for Covid after he saw staff at the airport including members of the UK Border Force wearing masks only partially or not at all.

When they arrived at the hotel, passengers were expected to wait another hour as staff checked them in one by one.

He also claimed the hotel booking system “was so rubbish” after he was told less than 48 hours before his flight that his hotel was not booked.

Mr Paul said his emails were ignored and he was frequently hung up on.

This meant he could not travel with his wife and had to fly alone on the later date of June 28.

08/07/21 Neha Gohil & Adam Barnett/Mirror

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