Simon Calder discusses how a hotel quarantine ‘might look’
Lockdown three has kept people in their homes for weeks now, as ministers bid to reduce local Covid infections. England, which is under national restrictions, is yet to see a significant enough reduction in local infections to lift the measures. But ministers also want to reduce risks associated with incoming travellers.
How much does it cost to stay in a quarantine hotel?
The Government has introduced tighter border checks on UK arrivals recently, nearly a year after the World Health Organisation (WHO) suggested them.
But experts believe up to 15,000 people are still crossing the country’s borders every day.
Now, ministers want to support their rules with quarantine hotels, which would keep people housed on arrival into the country.
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The prospective policy would require people to check themselves into sites across the country.
Passengers would need to isolate for 10 days at a time, at potential costs of £1,500.
Several other countries have entertained similar policies already.
Australia currently requires people to check into hotels on arrival, often with entire flights held at the same accommodation.
Their quarantine requires two weeks of isolation, up to 24 days maximum.
People need to provide two negative Covid tests in the interim.
Bills for £1,700 per adult and £2,800 for a family of four arrive after the quarantine is complete.
The policy has met mixed reaction in the UK, with hotel chains offering up thousands of sites.
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Andrew Denton, head of Hotel Services at the Best Western, said his chain has met with the NHS ahead of conversations about the incoming policy.
He told ITV News he hoped to get “the green light” and start accommodating people by today.
Aviation professions remain unconvinced, however, as they expect significant fallout on their side.
A Heathrow spokesman said the airport welcomed measures which would speed up an end to the crisis but criticised the financial impact on travel.
He 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.”
The spokesman also asked for support promised by Rishi Sunak, who he asked to “finally deliver” financial aid.
He added: “It is completely unacceptable that an industry worst hit has watched on as others, fortunate to experience a boom in profits and no restrictions, have been afforded unnecessary financial support as we remain ignored.”
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