Richard E Grant ‘feels punished’ by quarantine hotel’s doubling of prices

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  • Richard E. Grant
    English actor
Photo of a sausage casserole in a foil container, a tuna sandwich and some chips
Photo of a sausage casserole in a foil container, a tuna sandwich and some chips

Richard E Grant has said he was left “confounded” after being stuck in a quarantine hotel charging more than twice as much as a similar alternative nearby.

The Withnail and I actor said he had been visiting his 90-year-old mother in southern Africa when he was caught out by the change in travel restrictions.

Speaking in a video on Twitter, Grant said: “I went to southern Africa to visit my 90-year-old mother and got caught by the red region Covid restrictions.

“It took over a week and many cancelled flights to finally get home, for which I am incredibly grateful.

“I understand that there are security costs in the hotel and you’ve got to pay for two Covid tests, but £228 a day to receive 3 meals a day of this very poor standard, in a supposed 4* Holiday Inn hotel, beggars belief.”

Grant said his meals, which included a pre-packaged tuna and cucumber sandwich, a sausage casserole and fish and chips, would cost less than £20 to buy elsewhere.

A nearby Holiday Inn not being used as a quarantine hotel costs just £89 per night, including breakfast – more than half the cost incurred by red list travellers.

Saying he was “confounded” at the disparity, Grant added: “How does Gov justify this cost to a traveller for ‘hospitality’... feels punishing!”

Richard E Grant photographed on a balcony in Spain - BBC/Storyvault Films
Richard E Grant photographed on a balcony in Spain - BBC/Storyvault Films

Grant, who lives in London, was born in the southern African nation of Swaziland, now Eswatini, which was added to the government’s travel red list on 26 November due to concerns about the omicron variant.

The red list also includes Angola, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Lesotho.

Arrivals who have visited a red list country in the previous 10 days are legally required to stay in a quarantine hotel for 10 days, at a cost of up to £2,285.

A government spokesperson said: “The quarantine measures we have in place are minimising the risk of variants coming into the UK and safeguarding the hard-won progress of our vaccination programme.

“The majority of passengers who have used the Managed Quarantine Service have been satisfied with the service.”

The hotel declined to comment.

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