A BRITISH couple facing a £3,700 quarantine bill say the chaos on the Omicron redlist ruined their dream vacation in Cape Town.
Simon Heaton, 45, and his wife Kerry, 45, from Chislehurst, Kent, were furious on the first British Airways flight since Boris Johnson canceled his trip from South Africa.
The couple are currently unable to see their children for ten days returning to the UK from Cape Town.
They were further angered by the disruption and chaos brought to their holiday when BA sent a message late yesterday moving the flight’s time forward one hour to 9:45am.
Flight BA42 is already fully booked with holidaymakers looking to go home despite paying thousands of pounds each to quarantine when they land.
Personal trainer Simon says their eight-day vacation to Cape Town has turned into a nightmare.
He said: “We arrived last Friday at 8am on BA43 and only found out when we got down to Cape Town and turned on our phones that South Africa had been redlisted.
“We were at 36,000 feet when the decision was made and we discovered that we had to be back home by 4am on Sunday to get to the UK if we wanted to avoid quarantine.”
The couple left son Alex, 13, and daughter Georgie, 3, with their grandparents for a well-deserved vacation but quickly made plans to go home.
“We tried all the desks at Cape Town International airport to try and go home and were told it was absolutely nothing so we just had to put up with it,” Kerry said.
“I think Boris was completely wrong to ban all return flights as if we had just got off the plane and hadn’t even been to Cape Town, we should have been allowed to return immediately.”
“After we got to the hotel and started banging on our phones it became clear that we would have to isolate at a cost of £3700 even though both were double stabbed.
“Looks like our vacation insurance won’t cover us and we have to pay for it ourselves.”
Simon explained that they feel lucky to be able to cover the heavy expenses, but worry about getting their kids’ grandparents through the 18-day ordeal.
He claims their time away is “shadowed by anxiety” from having to make repeated phone calls to get a flight home equipped with the hotel’s quarantine system.
He said: “It would be helpful if the UK Government would allow newly arrived British tourists to return home without quarantine upon landing but ban South Africans from flying.
“We love South Africa and will be back but this has been handled so badly.”
Photographer Mandy Tredoux, 57, from Leeds, Yorkshire, works in Cape Town but has a daughter with an autistic child and toddler at home.
She said: “I planned the trip a month ago to help my daughter, Casey, 37, a single mother, take Michaela, 13, with autism, and her toddler. her Casey over Christmas and New Year.
“They were all expecting me and I couldn’t let Michaela down because she was so excited I had no choice but to spend £2285 and sit in a hotel quarantine for 10 days.
“This omicron doesn’t seem to start here and I think what Boris has done beyond just banning flights is shocking and I am disgusted that South Africa is redlisted.”
Last week, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Eswatini and Namibia will be included in the red list.
On Sunday, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Angola were also added to the tourist red list.
Sajid Javid said: “We will do all we can to protect the UK public against this emerging threat and that is why we are ramping up our testing capacity. affected communities and introduced travel restrictions in four other countries: Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Angola. “
Earlier this week, care minister Gillian Keegan said European countries can be added on the red list if the Omicron case spirals over the continent.
New travel rules is under ongoing review and may be further tightened.
Deadly cases in South Africa has skyrocketed more than 400% in a week as the Omicron variant spreads.
An explosion of infections saw 4,473 cases recorded yesterday, up from 868 cases last Tuesday, amid concerns about the new strain of the virus.
Experts fear the fast-spreading variant of Omicron could evade some current vaccine protections.
Gauteng province has been at the center of the increase in new Covid cases, with 72% of cases on the day, followed by the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal with 6% each.
The number of hospital admissions due to the virus in Guateng, where less than 40% of people were stabbed, has skyrocketed up 300% this week.
https://www.thesun.co.uk/travel/16918319/omicron-red-list-chaos-ruined-dream-holiday/ Omicron’s redlist chaos ruined our dream vacation…we can’t see our kids, 3 and 13, for another ten days and face the bill £3k