‘Why does the food have to be so grim’: Richard E Grant bemoans £228-a-day hotel quarantine


Filmmaker Richard E Grant has criticised the government for the “very poor standard” of food provided with his £228-a-day hotel quarantine.

Grant, 64, says he was forced to quarantine at a four-star Holiday Inn at Gatwick Airport after being “caught by red region restrictions”.

“I went to southern Africa to visit my 90-year-old mother and got caught by the red region COVID restrictions,” he said in a video on Twitter. “Took over a week, with many cancelled flights to get home.”

Posting pictures of the meals he has been given during his 10-day stay, he described them as “very poor standard”.

“Why does the food have to be so grim at a compulsory cost of £228 per day? Feels punishing!”, he posted alongside the photo.

Following the emergence of the Omicron variant, first detected in southern Africa, anyone arriving in the UK from Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe must isolate in a government-sanctioned hotel at a cost of more than £2,000.

Grant, who was born in Eswatini, argued that a “non quarantine Holiday Inn nearby costs £89 including breakfast”.

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“How does Gov justify this cost to a traveller for ‘hospitality’. You do the maths as am confounded.”

He added that he “understands that there are security costs in the hotel and that you have to get two COVID tests”.

Grant’s posts attracted thousands of comments, likes and retweets.

One person wrote: “We are in the same situation my life also visited her 89 yr old mum in SA and yes we get served this tripe we had to buy own paper plates from Amazon.”

Another commented: “Feel for you Richard. My son was quarantined in Croatia… the food was shocking. Get home safely soon xxx”.

But others were less sympathetic, with many quoting his character in the 1987 film Withnail and I.

A quarantine room at a hotel near Heathrow Airport. File pic
A quarantine room at a hotel near Heathrow Airport. File pic

“The entire hotel’s gone rotten,” they posted.

One unsympathetic person wrote: “It’s your choice to travel during a pandemic. Stop acting like you are entitled. You should have known the rules.”

Another said: “And to imagine all those fabulous hotels you’ve stayed in. Absolutely slumming it at this holiday in.

“Still won’t be much longer and you’ll be back to the luxury you’re accustomed to.”

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