Brit trapped in Quarantine hotel goes on hunger strike and tries to escape

A British traveller trapped in one of the government's quarantine hotels has gone on hunger strike and tried to escape.

Dad Anthony Pium, who had returned to the UK from Brazil yesterday, was stopped by security guards at the Radisson Blu Edwardian hotel as he attempted to leave "to get some fresh air".

The 30-year-old, from Leyton, east London, reportedly went on hunger strike after describing his ordeal at the hotel near Heathrow Airport as "the worst experience of my life".

He accused some staff of being "slapdash and careless" with hygiene precautions.

He claimed he was being "held against his will" and that his luggage had been lost at the airport, leaving him without essentials or a change of clothes.

"I’m really upset, I’m really frustrated, and I feel like this is changing my view on how the police and the Government help people in this crisis." he said.

"They already know coronavirus affects people mentally and I’ve been away from my family for two months.

"Now coming back to my own country feels worse than when I was in Brazil.

"They’re trapping me in my room and, to be honest, it’s the worst experience of my life."

"The luggage should be here in the afternoon (Thursday) but they can’t guarantee it, and in the meantime I have to stay in the same clothes that I’ve travelled on the flight in for 15 hours.

"It’s really embarrassing and unhygienic."

Mr Pium, who is a travel agent, said he has had a PCR test and two antigen tests, which returned negative results.

He added that he had been asked by hotel staff for his dietary requirements, but refused the food offered because it was not "adequate".

“They have set meals and I don’t know where this is coming from. I’m in a room that isn’t well-ventilated and I don’t want to get sick while I’m here,” he said.

He also said that while staff had been polite, they became "forceful" when he tried to leave and has since been "barricaded in".

"I feel like they’re not really doing anything to protect me properly and they’re trying but the hotel staff are really slapdash and careless with the stuff they do," he said.

"One or two of them don’t even have a mask on.

"I haven’t seen much else breaking the guidelines apart from social distancing, because they don’t have the proper social distance measures."

Earlier today, Mr Puim pushed his laptop against a window in his room, which displayed the message: "I have been held here against my will. They lost my suitcase. I have nothing. I have no essentials. I have told them I can't breathe. Police told me I can't leave without a doctor's exempt note. Please send legal help or something. Thank you."

Another message he wrote said: 'I'm being held against my will. No clothes, no essentials and I haven't eaten.'

Guests have compared conditions at quarantine hotels near the airport to a "prison", while some have been allowed outside with an escort to take a walk, smoke and sit on benches to make phone calls as often as they like with no time limit.

Meanwhile, a YouGov study found 90 per cent of Brits support the hotel scheme, while 72 per cent thought the rules should apply to all inbound flights – rather than just the 33 countries on the UK's 'red list'.

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