Travelers in the UK must remain in hotel quarantine for ten days from Monday. They have to pay the costs themselves. Those who do not stick to the rules face heavy fines and even jail time.
British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “We must continue with the travel restrictions.” The quarantine hotel plan has been in place for a month and a half, but is only being implemented now. Concretely, this means that every resident of the UK returning from one of 33 high-risk countries must be quarantined for ten days at a quarantine hotel – there are 16 in total. The British government wants to prevent the spread of new viruses. During the quarantine period, travelers must also take negative tests twice.
“The rules in effect today will strengthen the quarantine system and provide an additional layer of security against new variants outside of borders,” Hancock said. “These measures are important to protect our vaccination program.”
Up to 10 years in prison
Fines and penalties for those trying to avoid these procedures are severe. Anyone who refuses to take the test will be fined £ 2000. Anyone who ignores the hotel quarantine risks a fine of between 5,000 and 10,000 pounds. And anyone who lies about their presence in a red zone risks up to 10 years in prison. In the United Kingdom, 33 countries are on the list of the Red Zone, including Portugal, Brazil, and South Africa. Belgium is not on the list.
Travelers who need to stay in a quarantine hotel should pre-book a room online through a government portal. They have to pay for the accommodation themselves, around 2,200 euros. Passengers must pre-book their hotel through the government website and complete a Passenger Locator Form.