Wembley tour operator advises against travel abroad

Abhishek Varma

Abhishek Varma has been quarantined for 10 days after returning from India via Dubai. - Credit: Abhishek Varma

A Wembley tour operator has advised people not to travel abroad after spending 10 days in quarantine.

Abhishek Varma, chief executive of European Tours Ltd, travelled to India in January to market the UK and Europe as travel destinations. 

When he returned on May 14 the Indian variant had already hit the country, so when he stepped off the plane at Heathrow Airport via Dubai he had to quarantine.

Abhishek paid £1,750 then received an email telling him he would be staying in Arora Hotel in Gatwick.

"The quarantine experience is awful," he said. "You pay £1,750 and it includes a room for 10 nights, breakfast, lunch dinner and two Covid tests.

"When you pay £175 a day you want clean amenities as it's your home for 10 days but cleanliness is a problem. You get no entertainment, the television is old, it's not a Smart TV so you literally rely on your mobile phone.

"The wifi fluctuates a lot and the food is bad. Lunch is a meal deal - sandwich, crisps and a juice, and dinner they do serve us pasta once a week but it's super cold and not ideal for children or old people."

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Abhishek found a restaurant nearby so ordered take-aways and was permitted to go outside for 15 minutes a day.

"I'm documenting on YouTube as there's nothing to do here in the hotel," he said. "The first blog had 800 views in eight days.

"I get a lot of people who are future travellers who will be travelling this week or next week.

"They email me or message me on YouTube to know if the hotel has wifi, if it has a computer desk and table and what food you can order from outside. They have a lot of questions."

He said people should not travel despite the hit on his own business.

"It's a matter of humanity and health. I can't tell people to travel knowing the negative impact that will have. I'm sure people will look forward to travelling later on at a point in time when things settle down."

He claimed that on his flight from India "there were a couple of Covid cases on board".

He added: "If you're coming from a green or amber list country you meet people from red list while queuing for immigration. 

"India banned flights from the UK in November/December time because of Covid variant from the UK.

"I don't understand why the government isn't stepping up and doing this as apparently there are 1,000 people coming from India every day."

He added: "I've got no plans to travel. Our business was down the last two years, last year and this year, and we've got no hopes the business will resume this year because of this situation so I'm not going to travel anywhere until the whole thing stabilises."

The Arora Group has been contacted.