A QUARANTINE loophole row has broken out after it emerged families flying into Scotland have been able to dodge 10 days of hotel isolation.
Scotland has enforced separate rules to England and Wales meaning any passengers coming from outside the Common Travel Area must pay to isolate in a hotel.
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Chun Wong and daughter Kiernan were wrongly told to go to a quarantine hotelCredit: Alamy Live News
One traveller forced to isolate near Heathrow hotel told reporters she was returning from her mothers funeralCredit: AP:Associated Press
The note read ‘why made to pay £1,750?’Credit: AP:Associated Press
But as the Common Travel Area includes Ireland, passengers flying to Scotland after connecting in Dublin are not subject to the rules.
Chun Wong and daughter Kiernan, eight, were ordered to begin ten days in confinement after landing at Edinburgh Airport on Monday.
But today it emerged officials told the dad and daughter, who travelled from the US, they could self-isolate at home in Fife because they had stopped over in Dublin.
Mr Wong told the BBC: “I received a call from reception saying a gentleman from the airport would like to talk to me.
“He said that since I landed in Dublin first and then got a connecting flight to here, I was not required to quarantine in a hotel.
“I still have to quarantine and do the self-testing kit on the second and eighth day, but they said it was an error on their part.”
Meanwhile, strict rules in England forcing travellers from 33 ‘red list’ countries to isolate in a hotel have seen passengers forced to spend £1,750 for 10 nights accommodation.
Some isolating passengers have complained essential travel such as attending family funerals has seen them hit with the bill.
One traveller staying at the Radisson Blu near Heathrow Airport held a sign from her window saying: “Essential travel, my mother’s funeral. Why made to pay £1,750?”
Travellers at Edinburgh Airport getting ready to be transported to quarantineCredit: PA:Press Association
The Wongs have been told they can leave their ‘managed isolation’ after just one dayCredit: Alamy Live News
The DoubleTree by Hilton is being used as a quarantine hotel for EdinburghCredit: PA:Press Association
Under new laws passengers arriving in England from 33 red list countries will be whisked straight to quarantine hotels costing £1,750 for a 10-night stay until they are given the all-clear from Covid.
It comes as travellers in hotel quarantine face an extra £1,200 if they test positive for Covid during their stay.
Passengers will be tested on the second and eighth day of their isolation period to ensure they are not infected.
Mr Wong said officials were making arrangements to transport him to the family home in Fife today.
The family have been separated for more than a year and relieved they would not have to spend 10 days in the quarantine hotel.
Professor Linda Bauld said: “What appears to have happened in the case of the Wong family is that there’s exemptions for those who come from within the common travel area.
“So that means that if somebody is coming via Ireland at the moment, that is the common travel area and those people are not required to quarantine now.
“Like any new system, we are identifying issues. Clearly everybody listening will realise that it doesn’t make sense.
“While I have huge sympathy for this family, just to emphasise, the fact that they’ve stopped for a few hours in Dublin means that the rules don’t apply, that doesn’t make sense to me from a public health perspective.”
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We are looking into the circumstances that led to Mr Wong being wrongly advised at the airport that he needed to book a managed isolation package.
“This is a very new system, being implemented at pace, and some initial challenges are to be expected.
“We are following up with the travel management company to ensure a full refund is provided to Mr Wong.”
Passengers are escorted to a Holiday Inn, near Heathrow Airport, for their quarantine stayCredit: Reuters
A welcome pack given to travellers staying at the Radisson Blu, near HeathrowCredit: PA:Press Association