People returning to Great Britain from certain Red List COVID-19 zones have had to quarantine in hotels since 15 February. They stay there for ten days and have to pay for the pleasure. The rule was introduced following reports of new variants of the disease coming from Brazil and South Africa.
The government has produced a website detailing how to book a place in a quarantine hotel and arrange coronavirus (COVID-19) tests if you're travelling to England from a country on the banned travel list(1).
It wasn’t long before people were calling the procedures a “farce”(2) as people were leaving their rooms to go for a cigarette. The Telegraph writes: “Businessman Wayne Kelly, quarantining for 10 days at the Radisson Blu hotel at Heathrow, told how he was escorted from his room by security guards – some of whom were wearing masks beneath their noses – to have a cigarette outside.”
Michael Landl is the director of the WVA(3). He is an experienced policy professional and passionate vaper. He studied at the University of St. Gallen and worked for several public policy outlets and as well in the German Parliament.
Landl commented: “Smokers in quarantine hotels in the United Kingdom should have the opportunity to get a vaping device to help them switch during their state-ordered quarantine.
“With the UK enforcing strict quarantines and not allowing ‘guests’ out of their rooms, it makes sense that smokers have an alternative. It might help them quit for good.”
The WVA, which represents over 13.000 vapers around the world as well as 21 consumer associations, notes that this can be an opportunity for thousands of smokers to stop smoking. It says that vaping devices are a less-harmful alternative to smoking for ‘guests’ in state-mandated quarantine hotels. They can be used in most hotel rooms, thereby avoiding any contact with the outside world. This is a way of protecting other citizens from the risk of COVID and furthering smoking cessation aims.
“This is a perfect opportunity to kill two birds with one stone: mitigate COVID risks and aid smoking cessation. The NHS is already recommending vaping to quit smoking, so this would be a natural next step. Matt Hancock should be embracing e-cigarettes as the silver bullet to the quarantine hotels fiasco,” added Landl.
The WVA states that this is a win-win opportunity for the UK Government, the NHS and smokers in quarantine hotels across the UK.
- Booking and staying in a quarantine hotel when you arrive in England - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/booking-and-staying-in-a-quarantine-hotel-when-you-arrive-in-england
- Hotel quarantine farce as guests say they can leave rooms to smoke whenever they want - https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/02/16/hotel-quarantine-farce-guests-say-can-leave-rooms-smoke-whenever/
- The World Vapers’ Alliance - https://worldvapersalliance.com/