UK quarantine hotels open for travellers returning from abroad - how it works

Hotel quarantine regulations come into place on Monday (15 Feb), which means all those arriving in England from a “red list” country will have to stay in a designated hotel for a period of 10 days (Photo: DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)

Hotel quarantine regulations come into place on Monday (15 Feb), which means all those arriving in England from a “red list” country will have to stay in a designated hotel for a period of 10 days.

These new rules aim to stop Covid variants entering the country and apply to arrivals who have been in one of the “red list” countries - including Portugal and Brazil - in the past 10 days.

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How will it work?

Arrivals into England from one of these countries will have to enter the country through a designated port and have pre-booked and paid £1,750 to quarantine in a hotel sanctioned by the Government.

The additional rate for one extra adult or a child aged over 12 is £650, and for a child aged five to 12 the cost is £325.

According to the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), the Government has made deals with 16 hotels so far - providing 4,963 rooms - with a further 58,000 rooms currently on stand-by.

Travellers must quarantine in the hotel room, but exceptions which allow them to leave include the need for urgent medical assistance, to exercise or attend the funeral of a close family member.

However, the regulations state that leaving for these exceptional reasons should only happen if the person “has been given prior permission by a person authorised by the secretary of state for this purpose”.

Travellers arriving in England who have not visited a red list country are still required to self-isolate for 10 days at home, alongside completing two mandatory Covid tests on the second and eighth day after arrival.

These two Covid-19 tests are also mandatory for those staying in quarantine hotels. The tests are conducted by NHS Test and Trace and will cost travellers £210. Those who do not take the tests could face a £2,000 fine.

Elsewhere, all travellers arriving into Scotland from abroad by air will now have to go into quarantine hotels - not just those from the 33 “red list” countries.

All international travellers will have to self-isolate in a hotel near Edinburgh, Glasgow or Aberdeen airport for a period of 10 days.

Those travelling from red list countries to Wales and Northern Ireland will be required to book and pay for quarantine in England, as neither country has any direct international flights.

According to the legislation, travellers may only arrive into Heathrow Airport, Gatwick Airport, London City Airport, Birmingham Airport, Farnborough Airport or any military airfield or port.

Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, said: “As this deadly virus evolves, so must our defences. We have already taken tough action to limit the spread, protect people and save lives.

“With the emergence of new variants, we must go further. The rules coming into force today will bolster the quarantine system and provide another layer of security against new variants at the border.”

Last week, Mr Hancock also said that passengers arriving in England will face fines of up to £10,000 for failing to quarantine. Those who lie on their passenger locator forms could also face up to 10 years in jail.