Travelers Entering UK Must PAY to Quarantine in Government Sanctioned Hotel for Ten Days

By PFW News

As of Monday, travelers arriving in the United Kingdom from one of thirty-three “red list” countries are being ordered to quarantine in a government-sanctioned hotel for over a week or face a large fine.

Those travelers coming in from any country on the government’s new “red list” must also pre-book and pay £1,750 ($2,120) to stay in the sanctioned hotel, an order which amounts to a large tax burden on travelers and will likely be another blow to the desperately struggling travel industry. The cost will cover the room, testing and transport, according to the BBC.

The additional rates for one extra adult or a child aged over 12 is £650 ($788), and for a child aged five to 12 it is £325 ($394).

If the quarantine order is broken, the government is ready to issue a £10,000 ($12,114.90) fine.

If a traveler is found to be lying about where they are coming from, they will also face a £10,000 fine and potentially up to ten years in prison.

Upon arriving, travelers coming from a listed country will be escorted by government-contracted security guards to a bus which will take them to isolation.

A female hotel guest, who is with Roger Goncalves from Brazil (not seen), gives a thumbs down gesture to members of the media from the window of Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotel, near Heathrow Airport, London, one of the new Government managed quarantine facilities.
A woman gestures to members of the media while quarantined at Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotel at Heathrow Airport (Image Credit)

The government’s red list includes Portugal, South Africa, Ecuador, Venezuela, and the United Arab Emirates.

The new restrictions are coming into play over health officials’ concern of new strains of COVID-19.

As the Financial Times reports:

The travel sector has warned that the crackdown has hit the industry in what would normally be the busy half-term week as well as a crucial time for summer bookings.

“The industry simply cannot afford to wait until everyone in the UK is vaccinated before people start to travel again — otherwise insolvencies and redundancies will be inevitable,” ABTA, the trade association for the travel industry, said.

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics on Friday showed that economic output of travel agents and tour operators fell 86 per cent in December 2020 compared with February 2020, while air transport output fell 89 per cent.

Heathrow Airport CEO John Holland-Kaye said in a statement last week that Britain’s new measures are “essentially a border closure that will inevitably delay the country’s recovery and hurt the UK’s supply chains.”

“The world is more locked down today than at virtually any point in the past 12 months and passengers face a bewildering array of rapidly changing and globally uncoordinated travel restrictions,” International Air Transport Association (IATA) CEO Alexandre de Juniac said in a statement this month, adding that airlines would need continued government financial support to stay afloat.

According to the IATA, if the over-the-top travel restrictions stay in place, international passenger demand could only amount to 38% of that seen in 2019. Demand in 2020 only covered a quarter of 2019 demand.

As CNN notes, “It’s not just airlines at stake. Thousands of companies rely on travel and tourism to earn an income. These firms employed 330 million people globally in 2019, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council. The industry body estimates more than half of these workers have been laid off or are currently on furlough.”

Source: Planet Free Will

Top image: Mike McBey/Flickr

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