EXCLUSIVE: Police called to Hotel Quarantine! Moment officers confront disgruntled guests who refused to return to their rooms after cigarette break and stage protest in the car park
Police were called to one of the UK’s quarantine hotels when isolating guests refused to go back to their rooms.
Security guards called in officers when international travellers staged a peaceful protest in the car park of Heathrow’s Radisson Blu hotel when they were ordered back inside at the end of their 15 minute cigarette or fresh air breaks.
In the footage police can be seen talking to the disgruntled guests, who are having to isolate for ten days after returning to Britain from one of 33 red list countries.
Police officers were called to the Radisson Blu hotel at Heathrow on Sunday when guests having to isolate there for ten days after visiting red list countries refused to go to their rooms
One of those involved in the confrontation, businessman Wayne Kelly, told MailOnline: ‘It was a beautiful and sunny day and people were fed up.
‘We are already riled at being banged up in hotel rooms for very little reason and then the security guys started annoying us by forcing us back to our rooms.’
Mr Kelly, 37, who works in real estate and is from Birmingham, added: ‘People were out for some fresh air or a cigarette.
Businessman Wayne Kelly, from Birmingham, was one of those unhappy about having to go back to his room on day six of his isolation
‘To go out into the back yard, we already have to phone down and be escorted down by a security guard and then back up to the room again.
‘When I got down there to have a cigarette, the atmosphere had got a bit heavy as some of the guys were not going to their rooms and saying they were being treated like prisoners.
‘So I joined in and stayed out. It was all a bit ridiculous. But people are fed up of this.
‘Our human rights are being abused. We should be allowed out 24/7 to get some air, especially when it is a lovely day.’
Another protester added: ‘Some of us are beginning to lose our nerve. I don’t like being caged up when all I did was fly into my country and then find myself in this place with no choice.’
Mr Kelly said the police chatted to them and the security officials and left soon after without any further action.
‘The cops realised there had been no trouble and left.
‘Once they had gone, we decided to go to our rooms as we had made our point.
After being confronted by officers, the guests agreed to return to the hotel, having ‘made their point’ over their unhappiness at being cooped up at the hotel on a fine Spring day in London
‘We have set up a group chat and there are 20 people in it and we had messages that they were only going to allow us out of the rooms for 30 minutes a day in two 15-minute breaks. That hasn’t improved the atmosphere.’
Travel agent Anthony Pium,30, of Leyton, East London, said: ‘There was a stand-off between us and the security people.
‘They wanted me to come inside after 15 minutes, but I stayed for nearly two hours. I kept telling them I was a hotel guest and not an inmate.
‘The police were fine and chatted to us quite nicely and I appreciated that.
‘People are getting more and more angry as the days go by. We need to be allowed home now.’
Travellers have told of their boredom and frustration at having to isolate for ten days at one of 16 quarantine hotels saved for those arriving for one of 33 ‘red list’ countries
Travellers arriving in the UK from 33 red list countries are being charged £1,750 each to quarantine in a hotel for ten days.
The first passengers arrived on Monday February 15 and they will be allowed to return home on Thursday.
Arrivals who lie about where they have been – and their possible exposure to new Covid variants – could be jailed for a maximum of 10 years.
And if they leave their hotel before the end of quarantine they could be fined up to £10,000.
Both Scotland Yard and Radisson Hotels have been contacted for comment.