New rules have been announced that will impact international arrivals to the UK during the current Coronavirus pandemic.
The UK Government is attempting to tackle the spread of international variants of COVID-19 through strict new rules at the border. Here’s a look at the rules and what they mean for arrivals in England…
Why are new rules being implemented?
New rules are being put in place to try and reduce the spread of international Coronavirus variants, such as the South African variant of the virus. It is feared that these variants are easier to transmit, which could harm the progress seen through falling Coronavirus case and death rates in the UK recently.
The rules outlined below will be effective from Monday 15 February 2021.
What are the quarantine hotel rules?
Arrivals to England that have travelled from or through a ‘red list’ of countries will face new rules, including a stay in a ‘quarantine hotel’. The measures will only apply to UK and Irish residents returning from ‘red list’ countries, with other arrivals from these countries currently banned.
The ‘red list’ is a list of countries from which travel to the UK is currently banned except for UK and Irish residents, due to the perceived risk of international Coronavirus variants being imported. At the time of writing, there are 33 red list countries, a full list of which is available on gov.uk.
The rules for passengers affected by the quarantine hotel measures are as follows;
- Up to 72 hours before flying to the UK, passengers must get an approved Coronavirus test and test negative for the virus
- Before travelling, passengers must book a ‘quarantine package’, available to purchase online
- On arrival, passengers will be transported to their designated quarantine hotel as part of their package
- At the hotel, people must stay in their rooms – the quarantine package will include assigned government transportation, food and drinks, accommodation, security, welfare and Coronavirus testing.
- People must be tested on day two and day eight of their stay. If they test positive, their quarantine stay will be extended
The Government has said it has contracted 16 hotels so far to provide an initial 4,600 rooms for quarantining. People required to stay in the hotels will have to pay for their own stay. The quarantine package will cost around £1,750 per person, with multi-person discounts.
Anyone failing to quarantine in a designated hotel under the policy could face a fine from £5,000 to £10,000. Anyone who attempts to conceal that they travelled from or through a ‘red list’ country’ on their passenger locator form could face a fine of £10,000 or up to 10 years in prison.
All other arrivals not travelling from or through a red-list country must follow the same rules around testing, however, they will be allowed to quarantine at home.