Triple test and quarantine in hotels: the new measures to travel to the United Kingdom

The UK has created “quarantine hotels”. As of this Monday, February 15, British or Irish travelers arriving from the countries included in the “red list” of the British government -which are currently 33- must remain in a mandatory quarantine in a hotel dedicated exclusively to this process during 10 days, and two COVID-19 tests must be carried out, which will cost each traveler 1,750 pounds (1,992 euros).

Travelers who are not British or Irish (or with a residence permit) and who have been in one of the countries on the “red list” in the last 10 days, are directly prohibited from entering British soil.

The goal is to limit the spread of new variants of the coronavirus.

Travelers will face hefty fines including prison sentences if they fail to comply with the new rules, announced by UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

Quarantines in hotels have been applied in Asia and Australasia since last March. The UK government said it had asked Australia and New Zealand for advice on applying hotel quarantines.

This is a big change from previous travel restrictions in the UK, widely regarded as some of the weakest in Europe. Hancock says he “makes no apologies” for the harshness of the new rules.

The demand for a negative test carried out in the 72 hours prior to the trip is maintained, so to travel to the United Kingdom from now on you must take at least three tests and keep quarantine for 10 days. In designated hotels, for those coming from the red list countries, or in their destination accommodation for others.

You are required to reserve PCR tests in advance.

What are the new UK restrictions?

Travelers from the 33 “high risk” countries will be transferred directly from the airport to designated quarantine hotels. These can be reserved from February 11.

To return to the British Isles, travelers will have to pay for a quarantine package that will cost 1,750 pounds (1,992 euros). This package will include the hotel, transportation and tests, and can be booked through an online system

During this time they will have to undergo a PCR test on days two and eight of the ten-day quarantine period. Those who test positive are likely to be quarantined for longer, but details have yet to be announced.

Those who do not undergo the first test will be fined 1,000 pounds (1,138 euros), to which another 2,000 pounds (2,277 euros) will be added if the second is not done. All this will culminate in a total of 10,000 pounds (11,388 euros) if the fine notices are not paid after 14 days.

Anyone caught hiding their travel from a red list country, or lying on their declaration forms, will face a jail term of up to 10 years.

More information on traveling to the UK from a “red list” country.

Learn more about traveling to the UK from countries that “they are not on the red list”.

What countries are on the red list?

Flights to the UK from these destinations are already suspended and the only arrivals permitted from them are those of British and Irish nationals or with the right of residence in the UK. This means that the new quarantine rules in hotels will only apply, in practice, to British and Irish citizens or residents who come from or have passed through these countries.

  • Angola
  • Argentina
  • Bolivia
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • Burundi
  • Cape Verde
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Ecuador
  • In Swaziland
  • French guiana
  • Guyana
  • Lesotho
  • Malawi
  • Mauricio
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Portugal (including Madeira and the Azores)
  • Rwanda
  • Seychelles
  • South Africa
  • Suriname
  • Tanzania
  • United Arab Emirates (UAE)
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

When could the quarantine rule in hotels end?

The government does not give a definitive date. A rumor suggests that the government has a planned completion date of March 31, 2021.

What are the rules for travelers from other countries?

Travelers from countries that are not on the “red list” can continue traveling to the United Kingdom but in addition to presenting a negative test of less than 3 days and self-isolation for 10 days at the place of their accommodation, as before, from on February 15 they have to perform PCR tests on the 2nd and 8th days of quarantine.

The quarantine time can be reduced if a negative test is obtained through a private laboratory within five days of arrival with the llamado “Test to release scheme”.

What does this mean for the tourism sector?

A spokesperson for the travel trade association, ABTA, said: “The introduction of quarantined hotels for ‘red list countries’ adds to a mountain of measures already in place for travel, and we need to see a clear plan on how they will be removed.

“Jobs are being lost at an alarming rate and long-standing businesses have been ruined. The lack of financial support aimed at addressing the business consequences of international travel restrictions must be urgently addressed.”

Excerpts from Minister Matt Hancock’s statement

“We are putting in place a new hotel quarantine system for UK and Irish residents who have been to red list countries in the last 10 days. In short, this means that any resident returning from these countries will have to be quarantined in an assigned hotel room for 10 days from the time of arrival.

“Before traveling, they will have to book through an online platform and pay for a quarantine package that costs 1,750 pounds for a person traveling alone and that includes hotel, transport and tests.

“Passengers will only be able to enter the UK through a small number of ports which currently account for the vast majority of passenger arrivals. When they arrive, they will be escorted to a designated hotel which will be closed to guests who are not in quarantine. , for 10 days or more if they test positive for COVID-19 during their stay.

Regarding how newcomers will be tested, he said: “We are beefing up testing. All passengers are already required to undergo a pre-departure test and cannot travel to this country if [la prueba] it’s positive. “

“Starting Monday, all international arrivals, whether under quarantine in the country or at the hotel, will be required by law to undergo new PCR tests on the second and eighth days of said quarantine.

Passengers will need to book these tests through our online reservation portal before traveling. Anyone planning to travel to the UK from Monday has to book these tests.

“If any of these post-arrival tests come back positive, they will have to be quarantined for another 10 days from the test date and of course they will be offered any necessary NHS treatment. Any positive tests will be will automatically undergo genomic sequencing to confirm if they have a variant of concern. “

“People who break these rules put us all in danger.

“Passenger carriers will have a legal obligation to ensure that passengers have signed up to these new provisions before traveling, and they will be fined if they do not, and we will impose stiff fines on those who do not comply.

“This includes a fine of £ 1,000 for any international arrival that does not undergo a mandatory test, a fine of £ 2,000 for any international arrival that does not undergo the second mandatory test, as well as the automatic extension of your period. quarantine for 14 days, and a fixed penalty notice of £ 5,000 – rising to £ 10,000 – for non-quarantined arrivals at a designated hotel.

“Anyone who lies on the passenger locator form and tries to hide that they have been to a red list country in the 10 days before arriving here will face a prison term of up to 10 years.

“I do not apologize for the forcefulness of these measures, because we face one of the strongest threats to our public health that we have faced as a nation.”