Government confirms mandatory hotel quarantine for travellers to UK

Under EU regulations, airlines should issue a refund within seven days if a flight is cancelled. Pic

Under EU regulations, airlines should issue a refund within seven days if a flight is cancelled. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The government has confirmed that mandatory hotel quarantine will come into effect later this month.

The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) has confirmed that from February 15 anyone travelling to the UK from a country on the UK’s travel ban list will need to quarantine in an approved facility for 10 days. 

Discussions with the transport and hospitality industry are already underway and on Thursday, February 4, commercial specifications were issued to hotels near ports and airports. The DHSC has asked for proposals on how the delivery of managed quarantine facilities can be supported ahead of formal contracts being awarded.  

Discussions with Australia and New Zealand have also taken place in order to share expertise on quarantining 

A DHSC spokesperson said: “Throughout the pandemic, the government has put in place proportionate measures, informed by the advice of scientists, and that has led to some of the toughest border regimes in the world.  

“It is currently illegal to go on holiday, and passengers travelling to the UK must provide proof of a negative test before they travel, and self-isolate on arrival. With increased police presence at airports and more physical checks at addresses to make sure people are self-isolating, we are taking decisive action. 

“We are now working at pace to secure the facilities we need to roll out managed quarantine for British nationals returning home from the most high-risk countries, and are rightly engaging with representatives from the hospitality, maritime and aviation industry, and learning from our friends around the world.  

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“In the face of new variants, it is important that the government continues to take the necessary steps to protect people and save lives.” 

These measures build on the home secretary's announcement on January 27 that the government is taking further action for outbound and inbound passengers, to minimise travel across international borders and reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission. 

The health secretary will oversee implementation and chair a new cabinet sub-committee, working closely with former vice chief of defence staff, General Sir Gordon Messenger, on the government rollout of the programme. 

Over the past week, the government has met with stakeholders from across the aviation, maritime, hotel and hospitality industry, and will now finalise its plans. The DHSC has also held a series of roundtables with over 60 companies and industry representatives. 

Further details will be revealed next week on how passengers can book into the designated accommodation facilities. 

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