YET MORE hotel quarantine chaos in the UK just hours before the first ‘guests’ are set to arrive
The UK quarantine hotel plan, just hours away from coming into force on Monday, February 15, has been marred by controversy from the outset, but industry bosses have thrown yet another spanner in the works at the eleventh hour, claiming that the premises will become hotbeds of infection within days due to poor planning of the ventilation systems.
Meher Nawab, chief executive of the London Hotel Group, has warned that many airport hotels use air flow systems that could actually help to spread the virus. He sent an email to the Crown Commercial Service (CCS), the group which has been tasked by the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) with sourcing appropriate premises, voicing his concerns.
In the email, seen by the Sunday Telegraph, he said: ‘Hotels to be avoided where central air conditioning/ventilation systems exist, ideally individual air con units per room to heat/cool room and individual heat recovery units (HRU).
‘Alternatively, if no individual air conditioning is available the window should be openable in the bedroom.’
Nadine Houghton, national officer of GMB, a union representing hotel staff, also voiced concerns about passengers mixing prior to quarantine.
Speaking to the Mail on Sunday, she said: ‘Staff need thorough risk assessments, full PPE, a knowledge of the ventilation system in each hotel and a much clearer understanding of what roles security workers are expected to play.’
The government has said that plans for the new system have been thoroughly analysed and that the powers that be are confident that the new measures will be effective, despite experts from Australia, who already implements a strict quarantine hotel policy, deeming the procedures adopted by the UK as “very risky”. From February 15, all passengers arriving into the UK from any of the 33 countries on the ‘red list’ will have to self-isolate in a government-approved hotel for ten days, at a personal cost of £1,750 per individual.
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