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Legal Challenge to Hotel Quarantine

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Law firm PGMBM are seeking to bring a legal challenge against the mandatory hotel quarantine measures imposed by the Government on UK and Irish citizens and residents returning home to England. They explain:

We believe that the Government, by forcing UK and Irish citizens and residents returning home to quarantine in a hotel at their own cost, regardless of whether they are showing any symptoms of COVID-19, or whether they have tested positive for COVID-19, has unlawfully and disproportionately violated their fundamental right to liberty and right to respect for private and family life.

Whilst we acknowledge the importance of safeguarding public health in these unprecedented times, and understand that any public policy decision aiming to prevent the spread of the virus is by its nature difficult, the Government should in no way use this as an excuse to disproportionately deprive its citizens and residents of their fundamental human rights. Under Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights, no one shall be unduly deprived of their liberty. Article 8 further protects everyone’s right to respect for private and family life, home and correspondence from any undue interference by public authorities. …

Citizens and residents paying for the privilege of staying in their own country 

We believe that it is utterly disproportionate for the Government to require its citizens and residents to pay at their own expense – an astonishing total of £1,750 – for the privilege of staying in their own country where they already have a place of residence. It is unreasonable for the Government to assume the ineffectiveness of home quarantine without first considering viable, but more human rights friendly, alternatives which have been successfully implemented in many other countries across the world.

Disregarding international obligations 

The United Kingdom, as a Member State of the World Health Organization which has committed itself to abiding by the International Health Regulations, has disregarded its international obligations under Article 40 of the Regulations, which expressly prohibits Member States from imposing a charge to travellers who are subject to quarantine requirements.

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