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High-end B&B owner says Covid quarantine hotel ‘ordeal’ was ‘worse than prison’

A woman who runs a bed and breakfast has blasted a quarantine hotel were food was low quality, late and sometimes missing altogether.

Jackie Burchell, co-owner of Elysian Fields Bed and Breakfast in Helston, was forced to isolate in the Crowne Plaza London hotel at King’s Cross after returning to the UK earlier this month.

Along with her husband Tony, she had flown back from red list India after quarantining at a Hilton out there, Cornwall Live reports.

Upon arrival in London Jackie was met at the “cram packed” airport, before being put on a bus which she said had no social distancing measures in place.

Her initially good impression of the hotel and the seven-day selection of “really lovely sounding” meals offered to her quickly changed.

The lunch Jackie received on the first day

“On the first day nothing came, and I assumed it was because my bus was late, and then lunch came at 5pm, no evening meal,” she said.

Instead of the meals she had ordered Jackie was greeted by a packet of crisps, a sandwich and a chocolate bar, which was supposed to keep her going until the following morning.

Tony described how for breakfast, “a small box of cereal” was served at 11am, and for lunch, Jackie received a pack of cheese sandwiches at 5pm.

No dinner was offered on two evenings, they claimed.

The couple tried to ring down to reception but were unable to get through for nearly two days, they claimed.

“If there was any emergency it could be extremely serious,” Tony said.

Jackie recalled that at no point prior to her stay was she asked if she had any health issues, despite suffering from claustrophobia and blood sugar problems that requires regular food intake.

She said she overheard that another guest had been “crying her eyes out” because food had been delivered for her partner, and not for her.

One of the breakfasts the couple chowed down on
One of the breakfasts the couple chowed down on

“If they want us to go into quarantine, at least give us food,” argued Jackie, who said the experience was “worse than prison”.

The couple wrote to their MP Derek Thomas during their stay expressing their concerns.

He said that while quarantine is necessary to halt the spread of the Delta variant, it “should never be an ordeal”.

He added: “When I was told of the conditions one of my constituents was in, I immediately did all I could to intervene.

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“I am in regular contact with her husband and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to ensure that her needs are met.

“Everyone’s health should be protected by quarantine, even and especially those in quarantine.”

The Crowne Plaza London told Cornwall Live that it was unable to comment, adding that the approach to quarantine and hotel selection “is a matter for the DHSC”.

The Mirror has also contacted the hotel for comment.

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