International students share anger over paying high prices for mandatory quarantine

Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently announced that students could resume with face-to-face classes from 8 March.

As of 15 February, the United Kingdom announced tighter travel restrictions to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 transmissions and its new variants.

Passengers entering the United Kingdom from the 33 high-risk countries are required to pay £1,750 for their 10 day mandatory quarantine at a government-approved hotel.

This has sparked anger amongst international students who are already burdened with the accommodation rent that they have paid for, but not lived in since the beginning of the year due to the temporary suspension of face-to-face teaching. 

Sanika Nair: Dubai expat studying at Leeds Beckett University

Sanika Nair, 18, an expatriate living in Dubai and studying Architecture at Leeds Beckett University, said: “I don’t think this is fair for international students as we are paying more than the local students to be getting the same material and teaching experience online.

“I think they should reconsider international students being able to quarantine in their own accommodation which they are already paying for.”

Classes being shifted back to in-person teaching mid-semester, too, has annoyed students who have already settled with the work flow at the place they began their academic semester. 

Miette Dsouza: Dubai expat studying at University of Sheffield

Residing in the United Arab Emirates, Miette D’souza, 19, studying journalism at the University of Sheffield, said: “ I have gotten comfortable with the way things are working online, and I have a whole routine now.

“Flying back to Sheffield mid-semester would mean that it would be completely disrupted.”

Given the amount of unnecessary expenses international students are grappling with and then expecting students to fund their mandatory quarantine.

Sahima Chawla, a final year student studying law at the University of Leeds, said: “The government does not realise that international students are already struggling with the ongoing expenses of living and receiving an education in the United Kingdom.

Sahima Chawla: International student studying at University of Leeds

“They can just provide free quarantine, as some countries like India have started doing. Moreover, they should, or rather universities, should provide free and regular testing for students doing practical courses.”

Suggesting for a post-Easter arrival for international students, Ms Nair added: “I think a safe and cost-effective method is having students return in batches. I think it would be better seeing that we could at least get a little on-campus environment.”












Written by Michelle Almeida

Second year journalism student at the University of Sheffield

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