Remaining with her husband, Etienne, and two other children, Mrs Pansegrauw, whose family divides their time between southwest London and Tadpole Village, Wiltshire returned after four months stranded in the Eastern Cape of South Africa as a result the country’s placement on the United Kingdom. red list.
Abby Pansegrauw, 34, and her one-year-old baby both had to be treated in hospital, the latter for three days, due, they say, to the food given to them at the Novotel London Heathrow Airport in April.
They had originally visited their family for a short trip in December.
“(Ms Pansegrauw) ended up on an IV because she was so dehydrated,” Mr Pansegrauw, 41, who left South Africa for the UK in 1999, told the agency. press release PA.
“The hotel refused to recognize him and refused to apologize.
“I would say it was the worst experience I have ever had, not just a hotel experience.
The family said Ms Pansegrauw could theoretically have spread a variant of Covid-19 to two London taxi drivers who transported them.
Mr Pansegrauw said the family had to wait two hours for the hotel to arrange transport to the hospital, which they said “would be disinfected” but was ultimately a “regular taxi”.
“When the taxi arrived there were crisps in the back seat, soda cans, it was dirty,” Pansegrauw added.
At the hospital, Ms Pansegrauw was placed in a room with Covid patients – then, on her release, she was taken back to the hotel by another taxi and driver.
“It sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it really… when you’re dealing with people who you think might have Covid,” Pansegrauw said.
“They weren’t prepared for this at all.”
A doctor’s report the family showed PA indicates that doctors at their hospital believed food poisoning was a likely cause of the mother and son’s illnesses at Novotel Heathrow.
However, a spokesperson for Novotel said the company “conducted a detailed investigation” and claimed that a paramedic present “found food poisoning unlikely as there was no other cases at the hotel ”.
All travelers entering England from the government’s red list of countries must immediately self-quarantine for a full 10 days at one of the many hotels.
Despite stays costing over £ 2,000, excluding flights, some travelers have complained about poor customer service and Covid protocols.
The cost of the Pansegrauw’s stay was £ 2,400, which, in addition to the £ 2,000 for their flight, required them to maximize their credit cards.
Despite this, guests had to clean their own rooms and pay extra per item to have their clothes washed, Mr Pansegrauw said, and the family’s only cooking facilities were a mini-fridge and kettle.
The pub owner added that there was “nothing healthy” for his children to eat and that they were denied requests for “simple things” like spaghetti.
“I’ve never been to jail before, but (the hotel conditions) felt like the closest,” Pansegrauw said.
Quarantine hotels are run on behalf of the UK government by Corporate Travel Management (CTM), which Mr Pansegrauw also described as “absolutely unnecessary”.
While arranging the trip, Ms Pansegrauw’s phone records show that she had to call CTM nearly 20 times in three unanswered weeks before she could speak to the company.
Two Indian travelers told the AP they also believe the quarantine system places them in environments where Covid variants could spread.
PA also found several other travelers who complained about the hotel’s food, with Paresh Bhundia stating that the Novotel Heathrow had given him and his wife several meals with meat despite explicit requests for vegetarian cuisine. .
A spokesperson for CTM said it made reservations for more than 27,900 people returning to the UK and received complaints about the hotel quarantine service for 1.6% of bookings.
“We are adapting our resources to handle very high volumes of calls from travelers returning to the UK,” they said.
“We are sorry for the long waits that some travelers have encountered in trying to contact us. “
A spokesperson for Novotel said the company was “disappointed” to hear the Pansegrauws’ comments, adding that the comments from other guests were “overwhelmingly positive” overall.
“We of course recognize that these are difficult circumstances and we have done everything possible to make the experience as comfortable as possible for our guests, including allowing them to order take-out deliveries during their stay” , said the spokesperson.
“Any service outside of this, like security and transportation, is the responsibility of other government contracted providers. “
A spokesperson for the Department of Health said: “Our top priority has always been to protect the public and the robust border and testing regime we have in place helps to minimize the risk of new variants entering the country. UK.
“The government continues to ensure that everyone in quarantine receives the support they need, and all managed quarantine facilities meet the vast majority of people’s needs. “