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Hotel quarantine comes into force

Hotel quarantine comes into force

by Tom Martin (February 2021)

All British and Irish citizens and UK residents who arrive in England after being in a high-risk Covid country now have to quarantine in hotels from today.

There is a "red list" of 33 countries published on the government’s website, which includes Portugal, Brazil and South Africa.

The new rules, which aim to stop Covid variants entering the country, apply to arrivals who have been in one of those places in the past ten days.

They will have to pre-book and pay £1,750 to spend ten days quarantining in government-sanctioned hotels.

That covers the cost of the hotel, transport and testing.

Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock, said: “As this deadly virus evolves, so must our defences. We have already taken tough action to limit the spread, protect people and save lives.

“With the emergence of new variants, we must go further. The rules coming into force today will bolster the quarantine system and provide another layer of security against new variants at the border.

“These new measures are important to protect our vaccination programme, which has now seen 15 million people vaccinated, we all work towards restoring normal life.”

The government has also put in place new regulations equipping Border Force and Police staff with the powers needed to ensure people arriving in England conform to the new rules.

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.

As part of the regulations, a requirement for quarantining individuals to self-isolate in their room is set out in law. There will be also be a visible security presence at the Managed Quarantine Facilities to ensure that people are obeying these rules.

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.

All hotel staff will be fully trained in COVID-secure practices, and all contractors have been instructed to ensure their facilities and services are provided in a COVID-secure way. This includes plastic shields and PPE where necessary

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