DOHA: A British pilot who lost his teenage son to cancer has not been able to return home and comfort his family for nearly a year due to the Covid-related quarantine rules in Britain, British media have reported.
Alistair Caton, 52, has been desperate to go home to console his wife and their two other young children over the death of his 14-year-old son, Angus, in June 2020.
Although he is exempt from quarantine while working as a pilot, as a passenger visiting from a ‘red country’ he must self-isolate for 10 days in a hotel in Britain but his employer only allows up to 10 days leave at a time, making a trip home impossible, The Daily Mail reports.
His family says they are now stuck between the regulations, a position faced by thousands of other British expats desperate to return home. Alistair returned to his job in Qatar under threat of redundancy in August last year.
The family says the British rules are unfair as he has been double vaccinated and has regular PCR checks, adding there was no reason he should not at least be allowed to quarantine at home.
‘It is ridiculous. He is double-jabbed with Pfizer and gets PCR tests all the time. If they just want him to stay at home that’s fine. But it is crazy that as a British citizen with the level of protection he has, he cannot get back into his own country,” Alistair’s wife Adele, 49, who works as a GP, told The Daily Mail.
‘We have not been able to process any of our grief. We had a small funeral for 20 people at the beginning of July, but have wanted to have a celebration of his life that we have had to cancel twice. Until we get him home we cannot start any of the things that involve getting through our grief, like distributing the ashes and supporting each other as a family,’’ she says.
The family are now lobbying the government alongside their local MP to review the Covid traffic travel system.
Angus had brain surgery in 2013 for an Ependymoma brain tumour, which was followed by Proton radiation in Florida. ‘He became paralysed from mid chest down at the beginning of June 2020, and passed away on 28 June, aged 14,” Adele said.