England's quarantine hotels open in bid to keep Covid-19 variants out

Cheryl Sanders
February 15, 2021

Starting Monday, any United Kingdom or Irish resident who has been in a high-risk destination on the UK's red list - comprising 33 hotspots with COVID-19 variants in circulation - will have to enter England through a designated port and have pre-booked a quarantine package to stay at one of the government's "Managed Quarantine Facilities".

The tougher quarantine restrictions also carry heavy fines and penalties with potential prison sentences of up to 10 years.

Some global arrivals are required to quarantine in a hotel room for 10 days.

On Sunday night, the Heathrow spokeswoman said: "We have been working hard with the government to support the successful implementation of the managed quarantine policy from Monday".

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have a different set of procedures in place for the handling of quarantine stays.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab dismissed the idea of a "blanket ban" on travel into the United Kingdom ahead of the hotel quarantine plan kicking in.

HEALTH Coronavirus

Other visitors from the countries now on the so-called "red list", which includes all South American nations, South Africa and Portugal, are now barred from visiting under lockdown rules.

The move towards mandatory hotel quarantine comes as the United Kingdom has passed 15 million people who have received their first dose of a vaccine.

The first guests will check into government-designated accommodation in the United Kingdom on Monday as the hotel quarantine regime begins.

If they have been in a "red list" country in the past 10 days they are banned from entering the UK.

There will be no additional fees for children under five.

Six hotels, near to Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow airports, have been block-booked to house travellers quarantining - with a combined total of up to 1,300 rooms available.

The online portal for people coming in to the country to book a quarantine hotel has also gone live, but the site went down shortly after its launch.

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.

People may only arrive into Heathrow Airport, Gatwick Airport, London City Airport, Birmingham Airport, Farnborough Airport or any military airfield or port, according to the legislation.

Many test bookings conducted by the PA news agency for a variety of airports and dates resulted in a message stating "we can not find any applicable hotels".

The Border Force have the power to issue fixed penalty notices to individuals suspected of lying on their Passenger Locator Form and where necessary detain them for up to three hours.

"Over a year into this pandemic and 50 days on from the discovery of the South African strain, there are no excuses for yet more Government incompetence in the introduction of hotel quarantine".

"It is extremely worrying that even the limited hotel quarantine booking system is showing signs of failing from the outset", the Labour MP said.

They will then take further tests on day two and eight of their stays.

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

- When can I leave my quarantine hotel?

Those arriving from today onwards that have not visited a red list country must still quarantine for 10 days at home and complete 2 mandatory COVID-19 tests on the second and eighth day after arriving.

Other reports by iNewsToday