There are now 33 countries on the UK’s ‘red list’ as the health secretary has unveiled tough new coronavirus travel measures.
Any UK residents returning to England from the countries on this list must now pay £1,750 to quarantine in a Government-approved hotel.
The scheme, which will start on February 15, was described by Matt Hancock as ‘mission critical’.
‘Passengers will only be able to enter the UK through a small number of ports that currently account for the vast majority of passenger arrivals,’ Mr Hancock told the House of Commons.
‘When they arrive they will be escorted to a designated hotel which will be closed to guests who aren’t quarantining, for 10 days, or for longer if they test positive for Covid-19 during their stay.’
All passengers must book and pay for their ‘quarantine package’ online via a booking system, which will go live on Thursday, before they travel.
The fee will cover the hotel stay for 10 days, transport to the accommodation, and Covid-19 testing.
Mr Hancock said 16 hotels have so far been contracted with 4,600 rooms available but more will be secured in the coming days.
Below is the full list of countries where returning citizens will need to quarantine in a hotel for 10 days, and pay the £1,750 fee.
The full list of countries on the UK’s ‘red-list’
- Cape Verde
- Democratic Republic of Congo
- French Guiana
- Portugal (including Madeira and the Azores)
- South Africa
- United Arab Emirates
The countries above are mainly located in South America and southern Africa, where new mutations of Covid-19 are thought to have originated from.
Tourists and foreign citizens from these countries are not allowed to enter at all – the only arrivals permitted are British and Irish nationals, or those with UK residence rights.
The list was originally 30 countries long, but transport secretary Grant Shapps added three more countries to the list on January 28 – Burundi, Rwanda and the United Arab Emirates.
It has taken the Government almost a year of the Covid-19 pandemic to impose the strict hotel quarantine rules.
It comes as Mr Hancock also revealed arrivals who flout the new rules face up to £10,000 in fines or a decade in prison.
Those who attempt to hide a visit to a country on the ‘red list’ could be sentenced to up to 10 years in jail.
Arrivals who fail to take a first mandatory coronavirus test face a fine of £1,000, while this will rise to £2,000 for not taking a second test.
The health secretary said he ‘made no apologies for the strength of these measures because we’re dealing with one of the strongest threats to our public health that we’ve faced as a nation’.
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected]
Source: Read Full Article