Britain's COVID-19 hotel quarantine policy to start Feb. 15

Britain will place travellers arriving from COVID-19 hot spots in quarantine in hotels from Feb. 15, the government said, after criticism that it was not moving fast enough to bring in the measure, Reuters reports.

The mandatory 10-day stay in government-provided accommodation, first announced last month, is designed to tighten borders against mutant strains of the coronavirus which could endanger Britain’s vaccination programme.

The quarantine will apply to states on a “red list” where COVID-19 variants are prevalent, including South Africa and countries in South America.

“This is adding to existing measures and we want to make sure that this works, that we give the hotel industry notice,” junior foreign minister James Cleverly told Sky News on Friday.

In an announcement late on Thursday, the government said it had been consulting the travel and hotel industries, and would now finalise plans, including contracting hotels near ports and airports.

A Health Department spokeswoman said Britain already had one of the toughest border regimes in the world for travellers, such as requiring proof of a negative COVID-19 test.


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