The government has confirmed that all arrivals from high risk Covid 19 countries will have to quarantine in hotels from 15th February. The government was coming under increasing pressure to reveal details of the policy which was first announced last month.
The government will be making arrangements with hotels in the vicinity of international airports, prepaying for rooms to accommodate up to 1,000 passengers per day. Passengers arriving from the “red list” of 33 high risk countries currently considered to increase the risk of new Covid variants entering the UK will be required to stay at one of the pre-booked hotels for 10 nights. Passengers will be required to cover the expense of their stay which are expected to range from £80 – £96 per night.
It has been suggested the security guards will be employed to patrol every floor of the quarantine hotels to ensure than no guest leaves their room. These new quarantine measures are expected to remain in place until at least 31st March 2021 and new countries may be added to the “red list” at any time and at short notice.
Quarantined passengers will be provided three meals a day in their rooms, with tea, coffee, fruit and water also being available. Security guards will accompany any guest that needs to leave their room for fresh air.
Whilst this announcement will further reduce international travel in the short term, these measures are likely to contribute to speeding up a return to unrestricted travel. By reducing the risk of Covid 19 spreading whilst pursuing an accelerated vaccination programme, there is hope that the UK may achieve herd immunity by the autumn.
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