(09 Feb 2021)
A hotel quarantine system has been established for UK
and Irish residents who have been in ‘red list’ countries during
the 10 days prior to arrival.
Although the UK’s ‘red list’ can change at any time, as of press time on 9 February
2021, it included: Angola, Argentina, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil,
Burundi, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the
Congo, Ecuador, Eswatini, French Guiana, Guyana, Lesotho, Malawi,
Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal
(including Madeira and the Azores), Rwanda, Seychelles, South
Africa, Suriname, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Uruguay,
Venezuela, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
From Monday, any returning residents arriving into the UK from
one of those countries will be required to stay in an assigned
hotel room for 10 days, starting on the day of arrival.
Before they travel, they will have to book the
hotel room via an online platform and pay for the quarantine
package which costs £1,750 for an individual travelling alone.
The price includes the hotel, transport and two tests,
one on the second day and the other on the eighth day.
To help with logistics, people will only be able
to arrive in the UK at a small number of main ports such as
When they arrive, they will be escorted to the
hotel where they will do their quarantine for ten days, or longer
if they test positive for COVID19 during their stay.
It has not yet been revealed how much the hotel
quarantine packages will cost families or those sharing a room,
nor who will cover the costs of any additional tests as required,
and how much they will be.
Matt Hancock, the UK’s Health Secretary, said in
the House of Commons on Tuesday that the government has initially
contracted 16 hotels for a total of 4,600 rooms, and will secure
more as needed.
People will need to remain in their rooms and will
not be able to meet with other guests, and there will be
“necessary security in place to ensure compliance,”
The booking platform will go live on Thursday,
when the UK government will also layout more details.
Scotland has gone a step further, and announced
that everyone arriving on an international flight, starting from
Monday, 15 February 2021, will need to stay in an assigned hotel
for the 10-day quarantine.
Wales and Northern Ireland are also reportedly
considering stricter measures than England.
Some travellers, such as diplomats, are likely to
be exempt from the required hotel quarantine, even though other
countries, such as Thailand, discovered early on in their
quarantine policy that COVID19 does not discriminate, and that
diplomats can just as easily be infected by the virus, potentially
passing it on to those they meet. Thailand quickly changed its
regulations to include diplomats, and their families, in the
It is also not yet clear how the UK will manage
and police people flying back from ‘red list’ countries via
More on this developing
story to come.
Travel Industry News,
UK to Charge Red List Arrivals £1,750 for 10-Day Hotel Quarantine