QUARANTINE hotels will open on Monday, with a 10-day stay costing travellers £1,750 each.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock revealed new details about the hotels today, with a warning that any guests who try to escape before their self-isolation has finished will face up to a £10,000 fine.
Escapees could also be forced to stay locked up for even longer than their required stay if they leave early.
Travellers coming into the UK from 33 red list countries will have to book a stay at a quarantine hotel through an online booking platform, which will go live this Thursday.
An individual travelling alone will have to pay £1,750 for their ten-day stay, which includes the cost of the hotel, transport from the airport and testing.
In addition to their negative Covid test before arrival into the UK, they will then have to take a second and third test on day two and day eight after they enter the country.
Mr Hancock said: "If either of these post arrival tests comes back positive, they'll have to quarantine for a further 10 days from the date of the test, and will of course be offered any NHS treatment that's necessary.
"Any positive result will automatically undergo genomic sequencing to confirm whether they have a variant of concern."
Mr Hancock revealed today that ministers have signed up 16 hotels with 5,600 rooms ahead of next week's launch.
But nowhere near enough hotels are yet ready for the launch.
It’s estimated that nearly 2,000 people a day are flying into the country from hotspot countries at the moment – meaning they will currently run out of space after just FOUR days.
The new quarantine hotel rules are the latest travel restrictions being introduced by the government to prevent new variants of coronavirus entering the UK.
The scheme, similar to ones already in place in Australia, Singapore and New Zealand, will force all arrivals from any countries deemed high-risk to self-isolate at a hotel chosen by the government.
The UK government currently deems 33 countries to be high-risk, although they are regularly reviewing this list.
Destinations on the list include Portugal, the UAE (including Dubai), South America and South African nations – here is the full list of countries affected.
Brits who lie to border force police about visiting Covid hotspots on the red list will face up to 10 years in jail.
In addition to the update on quarantine hotels, Mr Hancock also announced that travellers arriving into the UK who isolate at home must get a test two and eight days into their 10-day quarantine period.
The cost of three Covid tests for each traveller on arrival into the UK would cost around £360 per person, making holidays prohibitively expensive if these border initiatives continued into the summer.
The new rules will apply to England only, but similar rules will come in in Scotland too.
It comes as:
- A passenger from South America told how they walked through Heathrow in ten minutes with NO checks
- The World Health Organisation said today Covid did NOT start in a Wuhan wet market – but the lab leak theory is also unlikely
- Last night Brits were warned by Jonathan Van Tam it's still too early to book a holiday abroad for the summer
What will it be like to stay at a quarantine hotel?
Documents seen by The Telegraph show Government appointed security would patrol all floors of the hotels and that guests would have to clean their own rooms.
It's thought security teams will escort guests outside if they need to smoke or get fresh air.
Anyone who is required to quarantine will get three meals a day and unprepared guests can have their laundry done.
Guests will have the three meals in their rooms along with with tea, coffee, fruit and water.
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