A FURIOUS international traveller says she was “treated like a criminal” when she was forced to quarantine in a Swindon hotel.

Fernanda Russomano Ashcroft says her stay in the town was “highly traumatising and dehumanising” and explained how she lost weight and how her hair started falling out out because of the stress and what she says was poor food.

The Bath woman travelled to Brazil to care for her mum, who had had a series of mini-strokes, but was forced to pay £2,285 to quarantine in a hotel on her return in September. Brazil was a red-list country at the time.

She is accusing the government and the security guards at the hotel of breaching the World Health Organisation’s International Regulations.

She said: “The security guards at the hotel only called me by my room number even though I requested several times to be called by my name.

“They treated me appallingly. I don’t hang out in situations where I’m under surveillance. I’ve never even had a parking ticket.

“Security guards would pace up and down the corridors with walkie talkies outside my door. I kept thinking, what have I done to be treated like a criminal?

“I locked myself in my room and put the chair in front of the door.”

Article 32 from WHO’s International Regulations states that travellers placed “under public health observation” shall be treated “with respect for their dignity, human rights and fundamental freedoms and to minimise any discomfort or distress”and treated “with courtesy and respect”.

Fernanda says on the rare occasions she did leave her room, she was escorted by two security guards, one behind and one in front. 

She added: “I was told a breakdown of the bill was not possible. 

“WHO regulations states that quarantine costs should 'not exceed the actual cost of the service rendered'. The food was disgusting so where did all the money go? Presumably on extreme security measures.

“I was distraught. You couldn’t make it up. There was mould in the bathroom and  you were either starving or you had stomach ache from the appalling food.

“It was horrific and will definitely not be coming back to Swindon any time soon.”
Fernanda is double vaccinated and quarantined for 14 days in Brazil before returning to the UK. 

She had to pay the £2,285 sum before she was allowed back into the country and was told she would have to pay a £10,000 fine if she left the hotel.

A spokesman for the hotel, which the Adver is not naming, said: “If a visitor is not happy with the service, they can notify reception and they will always be moved to a new room.

“Visitors are recommended to inform reception of any dissatisfaction with the food and we will do everything in our power to make sure it’s rectified.

“If a guest is unhappy with the service, we can only help them if they tell us but we have not had any other complaints of this nature.”

But Fernanda said she was never informed of an option to complain to the hotel.

A government spokesperson said: “We do everything we can to ensure guests in managed quarantine get the support they need. 

“Hotels must provide guests with three appropriate meals a day, access to WiFi, welfare and health support, and we expect them to make every effort they can to address guests’ needs or concerns.

“The hotel quarantine charge covers the cost of transport to the airport, 10 days in 4/5 star hotel accommodation, three meals per day, security provision, internal medical provision and two PCR tests and sequencing.”