Travel Restrictions are “Outrageous and Unacceptable” – Advice Wanted for Family

The following message comes from a worried father, and it describes the situation of many families across the country who are now unable to travel.

Please write to Enrique if you have any advice. Use the contact form on this website, and we will refer your message to Enrique.

Dear White Rose friends and community

I live in Edinburgh with my partner and my 9-year-old daughter. I am Spanish and my partner is German, so we (used to) visit our families in Spain and Germany.

You are probably aware of the latest draconian quarantine travel measures imposed by the Scottish Government on all those who have to travel abroad. See:

Because of this, my family and I now find ourselves unable to travel to Spain and Germany to visit our family. My daughter hasn’t seen her Spanish family for over a year now, despite us keeping a close bond and visiting them regularly in pre-pandemic times.

I am in the process of getting legal advice on this, and will initiate a legal case against the Scottish government, for what I believe an unlawful governmental decree, and a breach of basic human rights as recognised by the Human Rights Act 2006 (e.g. the right to respect for family life). Moreover, I also believe this is a breach of the fundamental right of a child to see her family. We (as a family) simply cannot afford to pay the absurd cost of £1,750 + £650+ £325 = £2,725 to travel to Spain (these are just the quarantine costs imposed by the government; we would need to add travel costs on top of that, to a total bill in excess of £3,000 for travelling to Spain to see our family).

Besides the unaffordable costs, even if we could eventually gather the money to pay for this, we would then add the distress and trauma for all of us, and particularly my 9-year-old daughter, having to stay in a quarantine hotel room (in our own home city!) like prisoners for 10 days on our return from Spain, despite holding permanent residency in Edinburgh since 2012. From the same government website, we are told that:

“- From border control at the airport, security personnel will escort passengers to baggage reclaim and on to pre-arranged transport to the quarantine hotel.
-On arrival at your designated hotel, you will be registered and directed to the room in which you must isolate.
-…items (including food) delivered to you during the quarantine period, they will be brought to the door of your room”.

One must wonder in what type of barbaric country we live. I consider this outrageous and unacceptable in a civilised democratic country (or is it still?), short of barbaric and uncompassionate towards children and families, to put small children into hotel rooms in isolation for 10 days, with food delivered to the door…

So I am contacting you for two reasons:

1) To seek advice and/or some feedback on this issue, to better understand our legal position and take the legal case forward as appropriate. I believe this constitutes a violation of the basic human principles that make our society healthy and functional. This is simply insanity and must be challenged/stopped.

2) To kindly ask that you disseminate this barbaric situation that we are being put through as much as you can through all your channels, and help us initiate a media campaign as appropriate. Not just for us, but to gather support for the thousands of families in Scotland and the UK that will be in our same position. People need to hear about this and, at the very least, the government needs to be put to shame out of this.

I am shocked and disgusted, and I will not stop until this inhuman unnecessary government decree is retracted (in court if necessary).
SHAME on the government for tearing apart families and communities like this, and putting them through distress, pain and misery, with this repressive measures.

If you can provide advice or help on the two points above, we would be very grateful.
Peace and love to all.

Enrique and family