Britons to avoid ‘exorbitant’ £1,750 hotel quarantine cost after major U-turn

Boris Johnson 'won't hesitate' in adding countries to red list

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Travellers coming back from red list destinations can now save the £1,750 charge of hotel quarantine. Since the UK’s traffic light system was implemented, red list arrivals were responsible for covering the cost of the mandatory self-isolation.

According to the UK traffic light system, Britons can visit green list countries restriction-free.

Holidaymakers coming from green destinations don’t have to quarantine on arrival.

Although the Government advises not to travel to amber countries, it is not illegal to do so, but when coming back Britons have to self-isolate for 10 days.

However, red list destinations have the tightest restrictions, as travellers have to quarantine for 10 days in a designated hotel at their own expense.

The cost of self-isolation when coming from a red list country is £1,750 per person.

Now, the Government has updated the terms in a major U-turn.

It has been announced that red list arrivals will not have to pay the self-isolation charge if they can show they’re suffering financial hardship.

New “waivers or fee reductions” from the charge will be applicable for those vulnerable travellers.

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The move comes after many claimed they had been unable to afford the costs threatening to take legal action against the Government.

International law firm PGMBM mounted a high court action.

It claimed the charges discriminated against those on low or no income, who could not afford to travel as a result.

Britons who find themselves having to come back from a red list country, face enormous charges.

Not only they are required to pay £1,750 per person to cover the costs of a hotel quarantine, but two PCR tests on days two and eight.

PGMBM senior associate, Taylor Burgess, said: “This policy was rushed through parliament and introduced without due thought as to how its one-size-fits-all application would penalise vulnerable citizens and residents.

“We are very pleased that our challenge has led the Government to review the policy, yet it remains frustrating that it has taken legal action for changes to be made.

“Many thousands of people have been subject to exorbitant costs over the past several months or been entirely prevented from undertaking essential travel or returning home because of the financial hardship they would face after paying the costs to quarantine.

“Now the Government wants eight weeks to change this flawed policy.

“Why must this drag on for those individuals and families who are continuing to suffer from the financial strain of meeting costs for quarantine, and unduly affect many more people?”

Government lawyers said the Department of Health and Social Care was “currently in the process of refining their scheme to allow persons entering the managed quarantine system to apply for a fee waiver or reduction on the grounds of financial hardship”.

Arrivals from red list countries, which at the moment include countries like India, Pakistan and Turkey, can face a fine of up to £10,000 or a 10-year prison sentence if they do not provide the right details about their trip or follow the mandatory hotel quarantine.

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