Families First, Children First

Government Facility Quarantine: 

Government facility or hotel quarantine now costs £1750 per person in the UK, much more than an average all inclusive hotel.  

Private security guards are now in place in the UK at these ‘hotels’ and ’10 year prison sentences’ are threatened, which is more than individuals receive secondary to conviction of violent / sexual crimes.  

Please see statistics relating to general risk of hospital admissions (4.5%) for the general public, and individuals at risk for severe COVID-19 (20% of the general population and 4% of children < age 20), along with statistics relating to symptoms and mortality secondary to COVID-19.  

We have to ask whether clinical evidence, or statistics, supports these indiscriminate initiatives (which increase risk markedly and cause harm for many or most) or penalties in these contexts. 

A. Most individuals report, during quarantine (not at home), that they could not access necessary healthcare, medication or food to maintain health, much more so compared to quarantine at home, and that appropriately trained medical professionals were unavailable to offer advice (in most countries).  These have been consistent and well-documented concerns since March 2020.

B. During a recent Australian Government Panel Review of hotel quarantine it was estimated that more or less 20% of individuals will suffer mental health issues during a period of enforced hotel quarantine.  It is evident that sufficient mental health support is not available in most countries.  

As mental health professionals in the UK it is our serious concern, based on 20 years practice in the UK, that sufficient support will not be available for individuals in quarantine in the UK. 

C. The risk to children and adults would increase markedly, as supported by recent evidence and statistics, during ‘government hotel quarantine’, which is not based on clinical evidence (to quarantine individuals without clinical indications such as symptoms or a raised temperature).  

Many report markedly increased social risk in their immediate environment due to indiscriminate mandatory initiatives such as quarantine; concerns include general violence, domestic violence, child abuse, alcohol abuse and illicit substance abuse.  Concerns have been raised by organisations such as the WHO and UNICEF.  Please see markedly increased statistics (up to 400-500% for children and adults).  

D. Based on current evidence and trends relating to new cases, morbidity and mortality statistics, as well as variants (such as the South African variant, with the same mutation now having occurred independently in UK #variants, ie not being in the UK due to #travel from South Africa) it is not clinically indicated, in our opinion and the opinion of many medical colleagues, to quarantine individuals from ‘variant of concern’ or ‘high incidence’ countries.  

It is however clinically indicated to quarantine individuals with a raised temperature, relevant symptoms, confirmed diagnoses and recent confirmed contact with confirmed diagnoses, which is an evidence-based approach observed in Asia. Statistics support this approach.

We have travelled through at least 20 countries after the outbreak was reported, mostly in areas where masks were not mandatory and social distancing was facilitated, and we have never presented with symptoms, a raised temperature or a positive test.  We go to great lengths to take practical precautions to remain healthy and we aim to avoid indiscriminate mandatory mask wearing areas or contexts. 

E. The general public, including medical doctors, report on receiving phone calls during post-travel quarantine or mandatory self-isolation to answer questions or receive information, however, they report that they cannot understand the person’s accent providing them with advice.  Many medical doctors have reported that the advice was often inconsistent, not congruent with good practice and was not offered by individuals with appropriate medical training.  

F. It is our understanding that most cases of COVID-19 are not identified from individuals without symptoms in travel related quarantine (or self-isolation) or individuals with negative PCR tests; that these figures are negligible or non-existent.  

We have to ask what the benefits are to expose 80% of the population (96% of those under age 20) to risk (as reported 400-500% increase) and harm by initiatives such as indiscriminate mandatory quarantine, where it is evident that these groups will receive no benefit in the risk benefit analysis. 

Many medical doctors agree that quarantine in government facilities or hotels will increase morbidity and mortality relating to general health, mental health and social risk markedly for the general public, including vulnerable children, much more so than quarantine at home, which also increases risk unnecessarily if not clinically indicated. 

Many medical doctors agree that no good clinical evidence supports these ongoing indiscriminate initiatives, “blanket quarantine” at home or in government facilities or hotels for individuals not at risk and not presenting with appropriate clinical presentations, and significant clinical evidence is available to illustrate that risk is increased markedly and harm is caused by these initiatives. 

Many raise concerns that only 17% of individuals with symptoms are accessing tests and subsequent self-isolation or quarantine, however 100% of individuals without symptoms are confined to government quarantine without clinical indication and exposed to 400-500% increased risk.  Research and statistics do not support deprivation of liberty and exposure to high risk or harm in this context, as agreed by medical colleagues. 

We have asked leaders to review these decisions and the risk management plan. We are pleased to report that many share these concerns.