Travel agent compelled to call James O'Brien over 'half-baked' hotel quarantine plan

5 February 2021, 13:14 | Updated: 5 February 2021, 13:16

By Sam Sholli

This travel agent told James O'Brien she thought the Government's hotel quarantine scheme is "half-baked" and said she had "no idea whatsoever" how the 33 "red list" countries were selected.

Benny in Westbury made the remark as the Government has announced that travellers arriving in the UK from countries on the travel ban "red list" will have to quarantine in a Government-approved hotel from February 15.

The decision to require travellers to self-isolate for 10 days in approved accommodation to ensure they follow the rules was originally announced last week following the emergence of new coronavirus variants in South Africa and Brazil.

Benny told James: "The problem we have here in the UK is the reason we're in this situation is because the Government haven't got a handle to monitor people appropriately at home."

She added: "I completely understand the priorities but this isolation thing is half-baked...33 countries on a list doesn't resolve the issue.

Asked by James if she knew how the 33 countries on the travel ban "red list" had been selected, Benny said she had "no idea whatsoever".

The hotel quarantine scheme announcement comes after Health Secretary Matt Hancock held discussions with his counterpart in Australia to draw on their experience of operating a similar scheme.

Read more: Quarantine hotel countries full list - and how the plan will work