//£1,750 fees for hotel quarantine
Gatwick Airport control tower

£1,750 fees for hotel quarantine

The government has contracted 16 hotels for 4,600 rooms initially.

ABTA has urged the government to work with the industry to develop a roadmap to reopen travel, after it was announced visitors from ‘red list’ countries will have to pay £1,750 for hotel quarantine.

Health secretary Matt Hancock said people who need hotel quarantine will need to pay the amount per individual for the hotel, transport and testing.

He said arrivals will be taken to a designated hotel; with the government having contracted 16 hotels for 4,600 rooms initially.

It was also announced that all travellers entering the UK will be required to take two tests while quarantining. Arrivals will be required to get a test on days two and eight of their 10-day quarantine period, whether they are isolating at home or in a hotel.

Hancock said that the government was proposing a maximum 10-year jail sentence for people found lying about arriving in the UK from a red list country.

An ABTA spokesperson said: “At present very few people are going overseas due to lockdowns in the United Kingdom and a range of other restrictions on travel. However, we will restart travel at some point and any requirement for multiple tests could have serious cost implications for travellers, which will hurt demand, so any new measure needs to be temporary.

Sign up to our Weekly Digest

“Government needs to work with the industry to develop a roadmap to reopen travel. As the vaccine rollout progresses in the UK, it is appropriate that the government keeps their approach to testing requirements, and other matters, such as vaccine certificates, under careful review to enable international travel to recover while at the same time protecting public health. Wider use of rapid testing methods, providing quicker and cheaper testing, could be part of that solution.

“In the meantime, we need to see some recognition from the government of loss of income and revenue experienced by the travel industry over the last 12 months, by providing tailored financial support to help businesses get through the crisis.”

The Department of Health and Social Care has said it will not give details of the 16 hotels being used for quarantine. A spokeswoman said: “We are not publishing that list for commercial reasons.”

Visitors from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Burundi and Rwanda were recently banned from entering the UK as the government extended its ‘red list’. Passengers who have been in or transited through the countries in the last 10 days will no longer be granted access to the UK.

There were an initial 30 countries on the list, which include all those in South America, as well as large parts of southern Africa and Portugal.