Health Secretary Matt Hancock this week announced new, more stringent measures intended to control the spread of COVID-19 variants in England.
Beginning next week, residents of the UK and Ireland planning to travel to 'red list' countries and enter England upon return must prior to departure book hotel accommodation for a 10-day quarantine period upon return.
The UK government will charge such travelers fees for accommodation, testing and transport.
The government has reserved blocks of 4600 hotel rooms near ports and airports for this purpose.
Only holders of UK or Irish passports will be permitted entry; all others attempting to enter England from a high-risk country will be turned away.
Travelers taking trips to countries not on the red list must prior to departure book 2 PCR tests to be taken during home quarantine upon return.
Violators will be subject to fines of:
- Up to 2000 GBP for failure to appear for a booked test
- Up to 10,000 GBP for skipping out on hotel quarantine
And falsifying information on a passenger locator form could get you up to 10 years in prison.
Democratic Republic of Congo
Portugal (including Madeira and the Azores)
Not surprisingly, the European Travel Commission and other travel and tourism industry groups have expressed objections to these new measures.
How will this play out? Stay tuned.