£1,750 quarantine fee, 10k fine, 10 years prison term as UK goes ballistic over new covid-19 variants
London, Feb. 9, 2021 (AltAfrica)-UK and Irish residents returning from 33 “red list” countries will have to pay £1,750 to quarantine in hotels for 10 days, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has told MPs.
The arriving passenger also face fines of up to £10,000 and 10-year jail sentences if they break new travel rules
The countries currently on the UK’s “red list” include those in South America, large parts of southern Africa, Portugal and the UAE.
These are part of a new quarantine system due to come into force from Monday next week, the government has booked 4,600 rooms across 16 hotels for those arriving from certain countries.
Passengers will have to book through an online platform before their travel, with the £1,750 fee also including the cost of COVID testing and travel between an airport and their designated hotel.
Mr Hancock said the policy applied to England but the devolved administrations were looking at similar measures.
Mr Hancock told the Commons 16 hotels have been contracted for the programme, which begins on Monday.
International travellers who provide false information on passenger locator forms when arriving into the UK could face up to 10 years in prison, Matt Hancock says https://t.co/trpPr7etny pic.twitter.com/XmZIAbEnKT— ITV News (@itvnews) February 9, 2021
He also confirmed a new “enhanced testing” regime for all international travellers would also begin on Monday, with two tests required during the quarantine process.
The health secretary told MPs: “People who flout these rules are putting us all at risk.
“Passengers will only be able to enter the UK through a small number of ports that currently account for the vast majority of passenger arrivals,” Mr Hancock told the House of Commons.
“When they arrive UK, they’ll be escorted to a designated hotel, which will be closed to guests who aren’t quarantining, for 10 days or for longer if they test positive for COVID-19 during their stay.”
The health secretary said that those placed in hotel quarantine will “need to remain in their rooms and of course will not be allowed to mix with other guests”.
He added there would be “visible security in place to ensure compliance alongside necessary support”
“Passenger carriers will have a duty in law to make sure that passengers have signed up for these new arrangements before they travel, and will be fined if they don’t, and we will be putting in place tough fines for people who don’t comply.
“This includes a £1,000 penalty for any international arrival who fails to take a mandatory test, a £2,000 penalty for any international arrival who fails to take the second mandatory test, as well as automatically extending their quarantine period to 14 days, and a £5,000 fixed penalty notice – rising to £10,000 – for arrivals who fail to quarantine in a designated hotel.”