11 day hotel quarantine in London – Review

On Tuesday 7th September I arrived at London’s Heathrow airport at 07.00 am after departing Cape Town the previous day at 07.00 am and it was a slog. To begin with I had to fly to Johannesburg to be be able to catch the 13.00 flight to London via Doha with Qatar airways. Because of Covid, I was informed that I have to be at the airport 4 hours before so I had a lot of time before the flight. Luckily I had forgotten to complete a passenger locator form so there was still time for panic as I called my wife and asked her to complete it for me and mail it. This form confirms that you are departing a red list country as planned and confirms your arrival in the UK. I had had my Covid test and had booked the Quarantine hotel (you do this by phone if you don’t have the 1750 GBP on the hip to pay for it) and the Government allowed me to pay in 10 monthly installments.

Form taken care of, I boarded and headed to Doha, the plane was empty and I had 3 seats to myself. Changing planes at Doha onto a packed flight to London I had the crappy middle seat and was sandwiched between a 6 foot Nigerian and a 6 foot Indian, however.. I really enjoyed that flight. We all became BFF’s and swapped details and chatted a fair bit. The flight was smooth and before you know it, I was back in the motherland

Then it starts. I won’t bore you with the details but it took me 5 hours to get from the plane to my hotel opposite the airport. It makes no difference that I am British, every person coming from a Red List country is treated like a social leper, super spreading, contaminated bastard and it’s brutal, oh and a baggage handler told me my fucking bag was still in South Africa. Surprisingly I was fairly calm about that because there wasn’t a lot I could do about it although I was keen to get to the hotel to call Qatar and see what they could do. I very nice young man who was responsible for getting the lepers of the bus and and into their respective quarantine hotels allowed me to use his phone and Qatar informed me that they had the bag and that it had just been sent to the wrong terminal.

Now I am am in room 526 of the Marriot Courtyard hotel, it’s Saturday and I am beginning to find a routine to the day before my release next Friday. It is just like being in a luxury prison. You get 2 20mins exercise breaks a day that you can take anytime. I take mine at around 15.00 and 21.30 and the food is good. I have made a video explaining more so give it a watch if you are travelling from red list country soon. I had no choice as I am due to start university on October 4th but as I say in the video, it you can avoid it, I would.


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