Red list countries: Full list of 33 ‘high risk’ hotel quarantine countries – and how new travel rules workFebruary 10, 2021
The rules affect UK residents and Irish nationals travelling from 33 countries on the “red list”, which include Portugal, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates and most of South America.
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Non-UK travellers from these countries are currently banned entry to the UK, which is why they are not affected by the quarantine plans, for now.
Here’s what we know so far about how it will work.
What has been announced about quarantine hotels?
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced that travellers returning England from 33 “red list” countries will be required to spend 10 days in a Government-designated quarantine hotel at a cost of £1,750, from Monday 15 February.
There will be tough penalties for non-compliance, including fines of up to £10,000 for failing to quarantine and up to 10 years in jail for those who lie on their passenger locator forms – this includes people who try to conceal that they have been in one of the “red list” destinations in the 10 days before arrival.
There will be 16 hotels providing 4,600 rooms under the hotel quarantine programme, Hancock told the Commons, though he added that “we will secure more as they are needed”.
The minister said the measures announced will need to be replaced to enable “safe and free international travel” in the future.
He also confirmed the new “enhanced testing” regime for all international travellers, with two tests required during the quarantine process from Monday.
Mr Hancock told the Commons: “People who flout these rules are putting us all at risk.
“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.”
He added: “I make no apologies for the strength of these measures, because we’re dealing with one of the strongest threats to our public health that we’ve faced as a nation.”
Asked when the new rules will be relaxed, Mr Hancock replied: “We want to exit from this into a system of safe international travel as soon as practicable and as soon as is safe.”