We believe the policy was poorly managed and has infringed on people’s human rights.
Register your details with PGMBM now to be included if we bring a claim to recover your costs.
We want to hear from anyone who was forced to hotel quarantine in the UK and would like to find out how to claim back their money.
PGMBM is investigating the possibility of bringing a group action on behalf of the thousands of people impacted.
Anyone registered with us will be the first to know if we go forward with legal action.
It is our wholehearted belief that the hotel quarantine policy requires judicial scrutiny.
By registering your details with us, we can hold the government accountable for its unlawful public policy making and, most of all, for its unfair neglect of the basic human rights we all deserve.
After Covid-19 vaccines became readily available, all European countries stopped subjecting those fully vaccinated to hotel quarantine.
In response to the new variant (Omicron), the UK was the only country in Europe to reintroduce hotel quarantine in late November. However, following the rapid outbreak of Omicron within the UK and widespread criticism of the policy, the Government abandoned hotel quarantine on 15 December fewer than three weeks after its reintroduction.
The policy was widely considered as neither proportionate nor effective in preventing the spread of Covid-19
The UK government assumed that law abiding people – the majority of the population – would not adhere to home quarantine.
It gave no indication as to when the policy may end, nor did it provide any logical explanation to support its imposition.
We do not believe that preventative and unlawful detention was necessary. Detention should be the last resort, not the first option
Inbound travellers from red-list countries were detained even if they had been fully vaccinated, irrespective of having repeatedly tested negative for Covid-19, and regardless of their reasons for travel.
We think this was both wrong and unlawful.
From 15 February 2021, anyone returning to England from a red-list country was required to complete a 10-day quarantine under supervision in a government-assigned hotel at their own expense.
Originally, the cost was £1,750 each, with additional adults charged at £650.
From 12 August 2021, these figures rose 30% to £2,285, with additional adults charged at £1,430 (a 120% increase).
Hotel quarantine in the UK applied irrespective of Covid-19 symptoms, a positive test result prior to arrival, and vaccination status.
Once travellers were in their hotel rooms, they had to remain there until their quarantine ended (except for limited and exceptional ‘permitted reasons’).
Visible security was in place to ensure compliance and enforcement where necessary. Children were subject to the same rules.
Many European states dismissed the idea of hotel quarantine, acknowledging that the detention of people without a confirmed infection, and/or those who are fully vaccinated, may not be covered by Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).
Article 5 guarantees the right to liberty and security of person and the Human Rights Act 1998 makes it unlawful for UK public authorities to act in a way that’s incompatible with the ECHR.
We strongly believe that the hotel quarantine policy violates fundamental human rights.
Be part of a case that could define future policymaking decisions
Uphold your right to liberty and respect for private and family life
You could receive a refund and/or compensation
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PGMBM believe that forcing people to quarantine in a hotel at their own cost unlawfully and disproportionately violated their fundamental right to liberty.
We believe it is our responsibility as a law firm to ensure that no one is unlawfully detained in their own country in the name of public health. This responsibility equally applies retrospectively, and the firm remains committed to seeking a declaration that the policy is/was unlawful.
Whilst the firm acknowledges the importance of protecting public health and understands that any public policy decision aiming to prevent the spread of the virus is inherently challenging, we believe the government should never have used this as an excuse to unfairly deprive people of their human rights.
This thoughtless one size fits all policy had, and will continue to have serious and far-reaching implications for tens of thousands of non-infectious, low risk people who were simply hoping to return home.
We believe it was and is disproportionate for the UK government to require its citizens to pay, at their own expense, 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 alternatives, many of which had already been successfully implemented in many other countries across the world.
The United Kingdom, as a Member State of the World Health Organization, has disregarded its international obligations under Article 40 of the International Health Regulations, which expressly prohibits Member States from imposing a charge to travellers who are subject to quarantine requirements.
We understand that the UK government had to impose penalties to discourage non-compliance.
However, the imposition of imprisonment for up to 10 years – the same as a large number of firearm and sexual offences – as well as maximum fine of £10,000 for those who do not adhere to quarantine rules, was a disproportionate threat and a complete abuse of power.
PGMBM launched two separate and distinct judicial reviews of hotel quarantine:
The first challenge
Acting pro bono on behalf of three Claimants, PGMBM served legal proceedings to challenge the Government’s charges for hotel quarantine. The grounds upon which the challenge was brought were:
In summary, we argued that:
In July 2021, PGMBM received confirmation from the Government that we had been successful in forcing a U-turn over the costs vulnerable people were incurring as part of the hotel quarantine policy.
You can keep up-to-date via PGMBM’s CrowdJustice campaign page.
The second challenge
Our second challenge focuses on how measures can be considered proportionate given the level of immunity in the UK, and in view of the higher infection rates in the UK compared with certain red-list countries. It challenges the policy on Article 5 grounds and is currently ongoing.
Potential claim for damages
Subject to further investigation, PGMBM is considering the possibility of bringing a claim for a refund and/or damages for those affected by hotel quarantine.
We are currently taking registrations of interest for the potential claim and will be in touch with those who registered once we know more about whether PGMBM can/will bring a claim.
PGMBM is a unique partnership between British, Brazilian, and American lawyers, passionate about championing justice for the victims of government and corporate wrongdoing.
The firm has offices in in UK, the Netherlands, the United States, and Brazil.
Our expertise is in environmental pollution claims and we are currently litigating claims arising from the collapse of the Fundão Dam, the largest environmental disaster in the history of Brazil, as well as several other significant matters.
PGMBM is also at the cutting-edge of UK consumer claims, representing thousands of victims across England and Wales. You may have heard of our claims against Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, Bayer AG, British Airways, and other major multinational corporations.
PGMBM wholeheartedly appreciates the seriousness of the pandemic, its impact globally, and the efforts of governments and healthcare workers to tackle it. We are in no way suggesting the pandemic is not a serious matter that should be handled with care.
This does not, however, mean that policies violating human rights should avoid judicial inspection.
It is time to take a stand and ensure that the government is held to account.