In new travel plans announced today, arrivals in to the UK will soon have to undergo additional COVID-19 tests, and arrivals from the red-list countries will have to quarantine in designated hotels at a cost of £1750 per person. Those who fail to quarantine could face fines of up to £10,000.
Air, rail and boat passengers, including returning residents, will be required to take a PCR COVID-19 test on days two and eight of their 10-day mandatory quarantine period, in addition to showing proof of a negative COVID-19 result before arrival. The new measures will come into effect on Monday, February 15.
Tests are mandatory. There will be a £1000 fine for any international arrival who fails to take a coronavirus test, followed by a £2000 fine for failing to take the second test. Travelers must pay for the tests, which currently cost about £100.
Exemptions will apply for hauliers, children under 11-years-old, air and boat crews, and those "travelling from countries without the infrastructure available to deliver the tests". Arrivals from Ireland will also be exempt from the plan under the Common Travel Area agreement.
All arrivals are expected to quarantine but from Monday those rules will be enhanced for passengers, including UK residents, arriving into the country from any of the red-list countries. In England they will be required to quarantine in specially designated hotels for 10 days. Arrivals will have to foot the bill, which includes accommodation, tests and transport. Health secretary Matt Hancock says the costs could run up to about £1750 per person, the BBC reports.
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all have their own travel rules. In Scotland, the government has proposed quarantining all returning residents, not just those from red-list countries, in government selected hotels. Wales and Northern Ireland are expected to announce tougher restrictions soon.
This article was first published on January 8 and updated on February 9, 2021.
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