Priti Patel reveals government’s new travel quarantine rules
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced travel has been banned from 33 countries where there is a risk of known coronavirus variants. All arrivals from these red list countries will now have to self-isolate in Government-provided hotels “without exception”. Express.co.uk has compiled a list of the 33 countries where hotel quarantines will be mandatory and the rules for the travel rules.
Britons will now face a 10-day quarantine period after travelling abroad to high-risk countries.
Individuals forced to isolate in hotels may be able to emerge up to three days early under new test and release rules.
The specific rules related to the scheme are yet to be determined, but ministers are keen to let travellers take tests on day five.
This means those who provide a negative test may be able to go home on days seven or eight.
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Quarantine rules will apply to Britons who visited any of 33 countries on a “red list” of destinations within the previous 10 days.
Travellers will be placed in budget hotels for a flat fee.
The rate of this accommodation is expected to be around £600 and will include the cost of all food and accommodation.
The plan is designed to protect against the spread of new variants such as those detected in South Africa and Brazil.
The hotel quarantines are expected to take another two weeks to come into force, giving the Home Office enough time to procure hotel deals.
Speaking from the House of Commons on Wednesday, January 27, Mr Johnson confirmed arrivals from 33 different countries will have to quarantine in Government-provided hotels “without exception”.
Mr Johnson told the Commons: “I want to make clear that under the stay at home regulations, it is illegal to leave home to travel abroad for leisure purposes and we will enforce this at ports and airports by asking people why they are leaving and instructing them to return home if they do not have a valid reason to travel.
“We have also banned all travel from 33 countries where there is a risk of known variants including South Africa, Portugal and South American nations.
“And in order to reduce the risk posed by UK nationals and residents returning home from these countries, I can announce that we will require all such arrivals who cannot be refused entry to isolate in Government provided accommodation, such as hotels, for 10 days without exception.
“They will be met at the airport and transported directly into quarantine.”
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The red list countries include:
- South Africa
- DR Congo
- Cape Verde
- French Guiana
- United Arab Emirates
The Prime Minister added the Department of Health is working to establish quarantine hotels “as fast as possible”.
The new measures will likely be similar to examples set in Australia and New Zealand, where mandatory quarantines have been in force since the early weeks of the crisis.
These measures have worked effectively, largely eliminating the transmission of the virus within their borders.
Home Secretary Priti Patel will set out the full details in the House of Commons on Wednesday afternoon according to Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick.
Travel, including international travel, is only permitted for individuals travelling for essential reasons.
These reasons can be included for work which cannot be done from home, medical appointments and educational reasons.
Holidays are not included as acceptable essential reasons.
Travellers will be required to pay for their stays in these hotels.
These stays in the hotel could cost up to £1,500 per stay.
Reports suggest, it could take up to three weeks to implement this new policy and it is likely to last until such time as the country is sufficiently protected against coronavirus, particularly the new variants.
It is currently unclear how long these rules will remain in effect, as this will be entirely contingent upon the spread and prevalence rate of the virus and the new variants.
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