Summer holidays abroad could be off under new plans to put UK travellers in quarantine hotels
26 January 2021, 07:12 | Updated: 26 January 2021, 07:14
The government is expected to make a decision on tighter border controls today.
Boris Johnson is expected to announce that some travellers coming to England will have to quarantine in hotels.
There are concerns over new strains of Covid entering the country, so plans are set to force passengers coming into Britain from high-risk countries to self isolate.
Travellers would be put on buses and driven directly to isolation centres where they will have to stay for ten days.
Sources have told the ITV that those quarantining in hotels would have to pay for their own accommodation, which could costs upwards of £1,500 per person.
ITV News UK Editor Paul Brand said: "Passengers will be given three meals each day, with security ensuring they do not leave the hotel.
"This will cost around £1,500 - to be paid by the passenger."
The new measures are likely to apply to UK citizens and those with permanent residency rights, with Boris Johnson set to make a decision later today.
While no measures have been finalised, according to reports the requirements will affect arrivals from most of Southern Africa and South America, as well as Portugal.
But ministers and scientists are said to be discussing the idea of extending the plan to passengers from all countries to protect against the risk of another mutation.
Speaking during a visit to a vaccination centre at Barnet Football Club, Mr Johnson said: “If we’re going to make that effort [of vaccinations], which we are, we want to make sure we protect this country against reinfection from abroad.
“So that idea of looking at hotels is certainly one thing we’re actively now working on.”
The Prime Minister added: “At the moment the UK already has one of the tightest regimes in the world.
“Don’t forget everybody when you’re coming into the UK, that you have to have a test 72 hours before you fly, you have to have a passenger locater form, the airline will kick you off if you don’t produce either of those.
“And then they test your passenger locater form. And then of course you need to quarantine for 10 days — five days with another negative test.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock also hinted that he was behind tougher border measures when he said yesterday: “The new variant I really worry about is the one that is out there that hasn’t been spotted.
“There’s probably those elsewhere that simply haven’t been picked up because the country doesn’t have that genomic sequencing service.”
A Heathrow spokesman said: "We support measures that will bring the Covid-19 crisis to an end once and for all.
"However, we must be clear that a blanket hotel quarantine is effectively the closure of our borders which carries huge ramifications for Britain and its aviation sector, already on its knees."
Hotel quarantine is already in place in countries including Australia and New Zealand.
In Australia, travellers are allocated a hotel room as soon as they touch down in the country and taken there by bus.
The quarantine will then last a minimum of 14 days up to 24 days, providing a person tests negative twice.
The cost of the quarantine is paid by the passenger and costs around £1,700 per adult and £2,800 for a family of two adults and two children.
There are exceptions for those who can prove they are unable to pay.