An ex-pat Brit who was rushing home from Bali to visit his cancer-stricken father who was given days to live was handed the devastating that his father had died before he was able to get to him.
This week James Gospel, who lives and works in Bali, was told his father Gerald could die at any moment from his advanced-stage bowel cancer and immediately tried to arrange to rush to his bedside.
But unfortunately his plans were scuppered when he contacted the Department of Health – who do offer exemptions to quarantine rules in extreme compassionate circumstances – to be told he didn’t qualify to go to stay with his father.
James was in the process of arranging flights back to the UK when he was given the devastating news his father had died.
Speaking from Bali, he said: ‘Unfortunately my dad passed away last night. It was peaceful and he was surrounded by family.’
Mr Gospel said he still intends to return to see his mother and other family members and hopes he can arrange the trip in time to attend the funeral.
James Gospel, 34, (right) who lives and works in Bali was told his father Gerald could die at any moment from his advanced-stage bowel cancer and immediately tried to arrange to rush to his bedside
Gerald Gospel, 66, a retired accountant from Nottingham, has bowel cancer and was told last week that it had reached such an advanced stage that it was terminal and that he could die at any point
Speaking earlier this week, James said: ‘I don’t know what more evidence they need for me to qualify on compassionate grounds – if I don’t sort this out urgently I will never see my father again.’
Gerald, 66, a retired accountant from Nottingham, had bowel cancer and was told last week that it had reached such an advanced stage that it was terminal and that he could die at any point.
When told this heartbreaking news his son James, 34, who has lived in Bali for four years with his wife Nova and their two-year-old daughter Bailee, immediately tried to arrange to race back to the UK.
His mother, teaching assistant Lyn, 60, was desperate for him to come and happy for him to stay at their house – but to his shock has been told he can’t.
Because Bali, part of Indonesia, is on the red list of covid countries James knew he would have to take a Covid test before travel and then quarantine when he reached the UK – but because his father could die at any point believed the authorities here would allow him to do this at his parents home in Nottingham so that he could have that precious time with them.
Instead he was told that they were insisting that he still comply with the hotel quarantine rules with the sole exemption being that he could make a single day visit to his parents before going back to the hotel.
James, like his father an accountant, told Mail Online: ‘My parents have both been double vaccinated so there is no risk to them and they’re desperate for me to join them.
‘And it makes no sense for me to be allowed to make a day trip to see them – then go back to a hotel….Surely if I was carrying the virus that would actually double the chances of me passing it to anyone else as I’d be making two journeys instead of one.
‘This decision is not only heartless, it’s also senseless.’
The letter from a Department of Health official stated: ‘I appreciate this will be disappointing for you… I appreciate your concern about your father’s condition.
‘Whilst we are unfortunately not able to grant you an exemption from managed quarantine, I can confirm that we would be content to approve an exception, on compassionate grounds, to enable you to visit your father once, on a day visit, after you have entered managed quarantine.’
Because Bali, part of Indonesia, is on the red list of covid countries James knew he would have to take a Covid test before travel and then quarantine when he reached the UK
James is now investigating whether there is any appeal route open to him – and hoping the latest travel review may downgrade Indonesia to amber.
Currently the rules mean if you travel to the UK from a red list country you face a compulsory hotel quarantine on return even if fully vaccinated.
It lasts for ten full days after your arrival day, there is no option of Test to Release on day five, and the bill comes to £2,285 for 11 nights for a single adult with further requirements involving additional PCR tests and passenger locator forms,
The Department of Health has been contacted for comment.