Edinburgh dad launches petition to let children travelling to meet family quarantine at home rather than in hotel

A dad who joined his son in ten days' hotel isolation at Edinburgh airport has launched a petition to the UK parliament calling for children travelling from abroad to meet their families to be allowed to quarantine at home.

Friday, 26th March 2021, 7:00 am
Antonio Caraballo and his ten-year-old son Sami
Antonio Caraballo and his ten-year-old son Sami

Antonio Caraballo is still angry that his ten-year-old son Sami, who flew here from Finland for a two-week holiday in February, was required to go into a hotel to quarantine rather than being able to spend the time isolating at the family home in the Capital.

Mr Caraballo, 44, felt he had no choice but to join Sami for the hotel stay, which cost hi £2,400.

It meant Sami was able to spend just three days of his fortnight's holiday with the rest of the family, including his three-year-old sister and his grandmother, before flying back to Finland, where he lives with his mother.

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Now Mr Caraballo, a key worker for an oil and gas firm, hopes the petition will put on pressure for a change in the rules.

He said: "Children are a very specific case because there is no purpose for them to be isolating in a hotel because they're not actually being tested.

"For children under 11 there is no legal requirement for them to be tested, so my son wasn't tested during the time we were at the hotel - what is the point of him being there?

"I think people will sympathise with that.

“The whole thing is absolutely draconian. The process hasn't been thought through.”

But he believes it would be very simple to put it right. “There is a very log list of exemptions in te law for workers – it's just a matter of including children”

Mr Caraballo said Sami’s time with the family had been very brief. “We literally had three days and tried to compress as much as we could into that. We had a Christmas dinner, a little bit of time together and that was it.”

He’s hoping to see him again in the summer. “He normally spends quite a bit of time with us in the summer. I’m hoping they will change the rules by then, but if not I’ll have to do what I didn’t want to do, which is take advantage of the loophole and get him to travel via England.”

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