VIDEO: ‘This is beyond belief-we felt safer in South Africa than we do here.’


Hornchurch man shares his shocking quarantine experience mixing with many other passengers, no social distancing and being turned back by the hotel.

A Hornchurch man and his wife who returned from Cape Town last Wednesday 8 of December has told the Havering Daily the conditions he and his wife and other passengers have faced since returning from their holiday.

Robert and his wife landed last week to be confronted with one nightmare situation after another that has included no social distancing.

“It began when we were taken from the plane to a terminal by bus. This already had no social distancing measures in place and we were all crammed in like sardines. From there we were placed in a queue at a terminal with many other passengers from other countries and once again no social distancing.

“We were held in a queue waiting for a coach to go to our hotel.We were then placed on to the coach sitting next to people from other countries, door closed and no air conditioning for a ridiculous amount of time.

“When we arrived to the hotel we were supposed to be having our quarantine, we were turned away. Hotel staff and coach company then began arguing whose fault it was, whilst we waited with no social distancing.

“We were then placed back on another coach, again door closed and no air conditioning, waiting for another plane to land to collect even more passengers. We were ferried around the M25 for ages.

“We arrived at our second hotel four hours later and were refused to be allowed to get off the coach. Still door closed and no air conditioning. At this stage some passengers were getting really angry and needed to use the toilet or get fresh air.

“Five security guards blocked our paths to use the toilets.”

Robert’s nightmare continued.

“When we finally got to the second hotel we had endless forms to complete and after having travelled 22 hours we still hadn’t had any food or water. We finally got to our hotel room at nearly 1am, six hours after landing.”

The drama however, was still to continue.

“We were awoken at 7:30am by a fire alarm going off and when we went to go outside, the security guard was stopping us from coming out of our hotel room stating he didn’t know if the fire was real or not but that we had to go back to our rooms. Obviously we couldn’t believe what he had told us and forced our way out of the room and down to the car park.

“We then discovered that we were with over a thousand guests standing very close together and two poor staff members attempting to do a roll call with no clue what they were doing and people informing them that there were still guests in their rooms as the guards were stopping people from coming out.

“Two guests had panic attacks and needed medical assistance, which was really difficult as we were once again all packed in.”

Robert and his wife have been there since Wednesday and have still not been allowed out of their rooms for any form of respite or exercise.

“We actually felt safer in South Africa than we do here, the Government policy is not safe. I have mixed with more people here since I have arrived in the UK, than I did throughout my two weeks in South Africa. It really is beyond belief.

“All this for the luxury of paying £3,700 to quarantine.”

Robert’s video footage of the hotel fire alarm drama.
Guests during the fire alarm.
Guests all crammed together during the fire alarm.

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