British and Irish arriving in England must now quarantine in hotels

Passengers face fines of up to £4,000 if they fail to book quarantine package

British PM Boris Johnson said he would plot a cautious but irreversible path out of the COVID-19 lockdown this week after the vaccination of 15 million vulnerable people. Video: Reuters

 

All British and Irish nationals arriving in England from 33 “red list” countries now have to quarantine in a hotel for 10 days.

The British government has introduced a new demand that arrivals from the 33 countries, which include Brazil and South Africa, will have to pay to spend 10 days quarantined in a hotel room in a bid to stop new variants of the coronavirus from entering the country.

Arrivals from South America, Portugal and the United Arab Emirates are also affected. Travel from the listed countries by people from outside Britain and Ireland is banned.

On Monday, health secretary Matt Hancock said the system appeared to be working smoothly a few hours after it was introduced.

“As of 6.30, when I got my latest update, this is working smoothly, we’ve been working with the airports and with the border force to make sure everybody knows the process,” Mr Hancock told Times Radio.

“It does appear to be going smoothly this morning.”

Travellers must take a coronavirus test and get a negative result in the three days before they travel.

Those coming from a country on the Government’s ban list must book a “managed self-isolation package” which includes a hotel, transport and testing.

Passengers will also be required to complete a passenger locator form with details of where they will quarantine on arrival.

Those who provide false information on their locator form could face up to 10 years in prison.

The government’s quarantine package includes the cost of transport from the airport to the designated hotel, food, accommodation and testing.

A single adult will be charged £1,750 for one room for the duration of their stay, an additional £650 for anyone over the age of 12 and £325 for children aged between five and 12.

There will be no additional fees for children under five.

People face a fine of up to £4,000 for not booking a quarantine package, and will still have to pay for one on arrival.

Those booked into a quarantine hotel can only fly into Heathrow, Gatwick, London City, Birmingham and Farnborough airports.

From Monday, those with pre-existing bookings to a different port of entry must change it to one of the above.

People who fail to do this could face a fine of up to £10,000.

On arrival, travellers will need to provide their passenger locator form, passport and a negative Covid-19 test result to Border Force staff.

They will then be transported to their quarantine hotel, with transport also arranged back to the airport at the end of their stay.

Guests will be required to quarantine in their hotel room for 10 days.

The government has struck deals with 16 hotels so far, providing 4,963 rooms for the new quarantine system, with a further 58,000 rooms currently on standby.

Guests will need to take a Covid-19 test on or before day two of their stay, followed by another on or after day eight.

Those who refuse to take a test will face a £2,000 fine, the government said.

Those who test positive on day two must quarantine until day 12.

People who return a positive result on day eight must stay until day 18.

People will be able to leave after receiving a negative result from the Covid-19 test on day eight and having quarantined for a full 10 days. – PA/Reuters