The United Kingdom government has confirmed that from Monday, Feb. 15, arrivals into the U.K. from the 33 countries on its red list will have to enter quarantine in a government-approved facility for 10 days at their own cost.
(So far, the U.S. is not on the list, but as the South African and Brazilian variants have been discovered here, this could change.)
The government says it met with stakeholders from across the aviation, maritime, hotel and hospitality industry over the past week to discuss the plans.
On Thursday, U.K. Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) issued a commercial specification to hotels near ports and airports, asking for proposals on how they can support the delivery of Managed Quarantine Facilities ahead of formal contracts being awarded.
The Health Secretary also held discussions with his Australian counterpart on Thursday, and officials will speak with New Zealand officials to share expertise on their hotel quarantine programs.
Though the pandemic is still very much with us, travelers can look forward to a number of notable openings this year in London and beyond.
Former U.K. vice-chief of the defense staff General Sir Gordon Messenger will advise the government on the delivery of the program.
Further details will be set out next week on how passengers will be able to book into the designated accommodation facilities.
U.K. prime minister Boris Johnson has appointed the health and social care secretary Matt Hancock to oversee cross-government efforts to deliver mandatory quarantine and enhanced testing to tackle the threats of new variants of Covid-19.
A DHSC spokesperson said: “Throughout the pandemic, the government has put in place proportionate measures, informed by the advice of scientists, and that has led to some of the toughest border regimes in the world.
“Passengers traveling to the U.K. must provide proof of a negative test before they travel, and self-isolate on arrival. With increased police presence at airports and more physical checks at addresses to make sure people are self-isolating, we are taking decisive action.
“We are now working at pace to secure the facilities we need to roll out managed quarantine for British nationals returning home from the most high-risk countries, and are rightly engaging with representatives from the hospitality, maritime and aviation industry, and learning from our friends around the world. In the face of new variants, it is important that the government continues to take the necessary steps to protect people and save lives.”
Source: Business Travel News Europe