Travellers arriving back into the UK could have to pay thousands of pounds to stay in ‘quarantine hotels’, under new Government plans.
Boris Johnson is under pressure from ministers to toughen border controls, to prevent new variants of Covid-19 entering the UK.
Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, and the Health Secretary Matt Hancock are understood to be pushing for a mandatory quarantine in Government-approved accommodation for all arrivals.
The cost of 14 days in a quarantine hotel for an adult is £1,692 in Australia, £1,630 in New Zealand and £642 in Thailand – the three countries that have introduced the measure so far.
There are fears that quarantine hotels could create havoc for outbound and inbound tourism, and that tighter border restrictions may put summer holidays under threat.
Paul Charles, CEO of the PC Agency, said: “Such a move would destroy confidence to book and would lead to a collapse in booking revenues for airlines, tour operators and many other travel specialists. As well as a collapse in visitor numbers spending money inbound.
“Boris Johnson needs to give a timeline for when they will be removed and be upfront on the economic impact on the aviation and travel sector.”
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Travellers to the UK face being bussed from the airport to hotels around the country amid a Cabinet row over whether compulsory quarantine should be enforced at the border.
Boris Johnson is under pressure from ministers to toughen border controls to prevent new variants of coronavirus from reaching the UK.
On Sunday, Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, revealed that authorities have already identified 77 cases of the South African variant in the UK, and have placed the patients under “very close” observation.
Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, and Mr Hancock are understood to be pushing for a mandatory quarantine in Government-approved accommodation for all arrivals.
But limited hotel capacity near major airports could mean passengers must be transported by bus to rooms elsewhere in the UK to wait out a 10-day quarantine period.