Arrivals to the UK from ‘red list’ countries will be forced to quarantine in hotels under tough new measures introduced amid growing concern over the spread of new strains of the COVID-causing coronavirus overseas. 19. As of February 15, anyone traveling to the UK from 33 countries on their travel ban list will have to spend 10 days in hotels or other government-provided accommodation.
The quarantine plan will affect UK residents returning and citizens traveling from these countries, who cannot be denied entry, the government said. Non-UK travelers are already banned from entering the country, which will remain the same. The Department of Health and Social Care, or DHSC, said it was working “at the pace” to secure approved quarantine facilities in time for UK citizens returning to the country from COVID-19 hot spots. “Faced with the new variants, it is important that the government continues to take the necessary measures to protect people and save lives,” said a DHSC spokesman. Discussions had been held with representatives from the aviation, maritime, hotel and hotel industries, and “they will now continue to finalize plans to allow implementation from February 15,” the spokesperson added. Shares of hotel group Accor AC, + 3.51%, rose 3.24% on Friday, while rival Whitbread WTB, + 4.33%, rose 2.52%, and InterContinental Hotels Group IHG, + 2.96% they increased 1.74% in early morning trading in Europe. Opposition lawmakers criticized the government for failing to act quickly enough to introduce the measures, which were originally announced on January 27 after the emergence of new variants of the coronavirus, such as those identified in South Africa and Brazil. Read: The new South African strain is more infectious and also makes COVID-19 vaccines less effective. Countries like Australia have implemented a similar quarantine policy since March 2020. Discussions have been held with Australia and New Zealand to share knowledge about the quarantine. the government said. On Thursday, Labor Party shadow Home Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said on Twitter TWTR, + 3.54% that the delay in announcing the details of the policy was “putting people at risk and could potentially undermine the vaccine progress “. There are some fears that mutant strains, which are more infectious than the current dominant coronavirus strain, could reduce the effectiveness of vaccines. Read: Glaxo and CureVac join forces to develop vaccines targeting new COVID-19 variants The UK is in the middle of the largest vaccination program in the history of the National Health Service. More than 10 million people have already received a dose of the vaccine developed by the Swedish-British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca AZN, -0.69% with the University of Oxford, or the injection of the American pharmaceutical company Pfizer PFE, + 0, 14% and their German partner. BioNTech BNTX, -0.39%. The government said more details will be released next week on how passengers will be able to book at designated accommodation facilities. Foreign Minister James Cleverly defended the hotel’s quarantine plans, telling Sky News that the government needed time to prepare. “That is why we have given notice to the hospitality industry to give them time to prepare, train staff and have their rooms ready,” he said on Sky News on Friday. He did not deny that the government will pay the bill for hotel quarantine stays for all travelers. The Daily Telegraph said the project will cost the government 55 million pounds, which the government will then try to recoup from travelers, as it plans to book 28,000 hotel rooms for Friday night to accommodate 1,425 passengers per day. Some states in Australia, including New South Wales, charge travelers for their quarantine services, which include the cost of accommodation, food, medical assistance, surveillance and security.