Home Office putting holidaymakers' health at risk

Home Office is putting holidaymakers’ health at risk by sending ‘unvaccinated officials’ to snoop on those returning from amber countries to check they are self-isolating

  •  Home Officer sending unvaccinated officials to check travellers self-isolating   
  • Contractor Mitie admitted that it did not require staff to have had their jabs
  • One holidaymaker complained company sent a ‘vaccine refusenik’ to check up

The Home Office has been accused of putting holidaymakers’ health at risk by sending unvaccinated officials to check that returning travellers are self-isolating at home.

Contractor Mitie last night admitted that it did not require staff conducting doorstep quarantine checks on behalf of the Government to have had their jabs.

It comes after one recently returned holidaymaker complained that the company sent a ‘vaccine refusenik’ to check up on him – and that the compliance officer was not wearing a mask over his mouth. 

‘I’m double-vaccinated and went on holiday to a Greek island where every single adult is double-vaccinated – and they haven’t had a single Covid case for three months,’ said the homeowner.

Passengers make their way through arrivals after landing at Heathrow airport on August 21, 2021

‘The biggest risk to my health has come from the Government sending around a vaccine refusenik, who wasn’t wearing a mask properly, to knock on my door.’

The holidaymaker, who asked not to be named, had been complying with Covid rules requiring those returning from ‘amber’ countries such as France, Spain and Portugal to self-isolate at home for ten days on their return and take two coronavirus tests during that period.

Mitie has a £90 million Home Office contract to carry out 10,000 checks a day on people who are meant to be self-isolating. 

While its staff do not have any enforcement powers, they can refer cases to the police, who can impose fixed penalty fines of £1,000 for a first quarantine offence, rising to £10,000 for repeat offences.

But the holidaymaker, who was self-isolating at his West London home, said he was perturbed by the ‘brusque’ attitude of the agent.

He said: ‘There was a knock at the door and when I answered a man, probably in his 40s, said he was checking that I was self-isolating.

The Home Office has been accused of putting holidaymakers’ health at risk by sending unvaccinated officials to check that those returning from holidays are self-isolating

‘He rather brusquely demanded proof of my identity and, when I asked why, he said he’d just put the case down as ‘Refused to show ID’.’

Concerned that the agent might refer him to the police, the householder said he ‘reluctantly showed him proof of my identity’, adding: ‘I then explained that I’d had two doses of the vaccine before going on holiday and was following the self-isolation rules to the letter.

‘I was amazed when he said, ‘That’s why I’m not getting vaccinated – even if you have the jabs, you still need to self-isolate if you go on holiday.’ The whole exchange took place while this man had his mask around his chin.’

The Home Office last night declined to comment and referred the matter to Mitie. 

A Mitie spokesperson said: ‘All colleagues on this contract receive full training on the latest Covid safety processes in line with Government guidance, including the correct use of PPE, hand sanitiser and social distancing, before undertaking any visits.’

The firm says it encourages agents to have their NHS Covid vaccines as soon as they are eligible for them – but says it is up to individuals to decide whether they take up the offer or not.

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