Quarantine hotels: Investigation launched after Scottish Government criticised for giving 'inaccurate advice' and putting US family in quarantine
Since Monday, people flying directly into a Scottish airport on international flights have to self-isolate for 10 days in a quarantine hotel room.
Unless exempt, a passenger must pay £1,750 to quarantine in a room at one of six designated hotels in a bid to avoid importation of the virus.
However, this does not apply to travellers arriving from within the Common Travel Area, including the UK and Ireland.
Chun Wong and his daughter Kiernan, eight, arrived at Edinburgh airport on Monday and were set to spend 10 days self-isolating in a nearby hotel.
However, Mr Wong was contacted by officials later that evening to tell him he did not need to abide by the rules because he had spent a short time 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.”
He added: "There was a big level of grey. It seems like one department did not get the full picture from other departments.”
Edinburgh Airport officials insisted that “inaccurate advice” had come from the government.
A spokesman for Edinburgh Airport said: “As Mr Wong himself has stated, he and his wife received inaccurate advice from the government which shows the confusion this policy has created.
“It is a clear example of the loophole that our governments have created in action and they should work together to close it before this happens again.”
The Scottish Government said it now looking into the case.
A Scottish Government spokesman said: “We are looking into the circumstances that led to Mr Wong being wrongly advised he needed to book a managed isolation package and would like to thank the family for their patience.
“This is a very new system, being implemented at pace, and some initial challenges are to be expected.
“However, once the error was identified, the family were contacted and advised they could make alternative arrangements for their self-isolation period.
“We are following up with the travel management company to ensure a full refund is provided to Mr Wong.”
Scottish Conservative transport spokesman, Graham Simpson MSP, criticised the Scottish Government, saying the family “should never have been put in a hotel in the first place”.
He continued: “They are relieved to be going home but this example shows how much of a shambles the SNP have made of their quarantine scheme.
“The SNP didn’t fully consider how the scheme would work before it came into effect. They didn't speak to the airports or the airlines, they were only interested in fuelling another made-up grievance.
“This kind of avoidable mess is not good enough when we are in the midst of a public health crisis.”
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