MSE News

Travellers arriving from 22 countries face hotel quarantine

Travellers arriving from 22 countries with known coronavirus variants will need to quarantine in Government-provided accommodation, such as hotels, for 10 days, the Prime Minister has confirmed.

Speaking in the House of Commons today, Boris Johnson said that UK nationals and residents arriving from South Africa, Portugal and countries in South America would be affected (other travel from these countries is already banned), although a full list of the 22 countries has yet to be revealed.   

Arrangements for accommodation are set to be put in place "as quickly as possible" with more detail from the Department for Health and Social Care expected next week. See our Coronavirus Travel guide for more on your rights to travel both abroad and within the UK.  

Travellers will be met at airports and escorted to hotels to quarantine

Travel from countries where there are fears around coronavirus variants has already been banned, but the "managed isolation process" set out by the Prime Minister and Home Secretary today will apply to UK nationals and residents, who cannot be denied entry to the UK. 

Under the new system, travellers from affected countries will be met at the airport and transferred to hotels where they can quarantine for 10 days. Home Secretary Priti Patel said there would be no exceptions to this rule. We've asked the Government whether travellers will need to pay for their time in quarantine hotels themselves, and will update this story when we hear back. 

The Prime Minister added that the Government would work with devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to ensure there was a UK-wide approach. 

Arrivals to England already need to take a pre-departure coronavirus test and self-isolate for 10 days when they enter the country, regardless of where they've travelled from - but travellers can usually quarantine at home or in in the place you're staying rather than in official accommodation.

You can also cut this quarantine period if you take a coronavirus test five days after arrival, but you can't do this if you've travelled from or through a country with a travel ban in the past 10 days.  

More checks for travellers coming in and going out of the UK

Addressing the House of Commons today, the Home Secretary also set out plans to step up police checks for travellers both entering and leaving the UK.

The police will carry out more physical checks to make sure people are self-isolating after arriving from overseas, as well as having an increased presence at ports and airports. The list of exemptions to self-isolation requirements - which currently let people travelling for certain types of work avoid quarantining - is also set to be reviewed.

And if you're planning to travel abroad, you'll need to make a declaration about why you need to travel, which will be checked by your airline or carrier. Only essential travel is allowed - and a holiday won't be seen as an acceptable reason to go abroad. 

MSE weekly email

FREE weekly MoneySaving email

For all the latest deals, guides and loopholes simply sign up today – it's spam-free!