UK nationals and residents returning to Britain from “red list” countries will be forced to quarantine for 10 days in government-provided accommodation such as hotels.
Foreign nationals from 30 countries where new variants have been identified – including South Africa, Portugal and South American nations – are also not allowed entry to the UK.
Mandatory hotel quarantine for arrivals have already been introduced by other countries, including Australia, China and New Zealand.
Here, we run through the new hotel quarantine policy plus the current travel rules.
Who is allowed to travel abroad?
Due to the national lockdown, people can only travel abroad for essential reasons. These can be: to do work that cannot be done from home, medical appointments and educational reasons. You cannot travel for a holiday.
You must also consider the rules in the country you are visiting. The government has compiled these rules here.
The government reiterated these rules when large queues were seen at Heathrow Airport over the weekend.
What are the current rules for travellers arriving in the UK?
Evidence of negative Covid-19 test
Both UK and foreign nationals arriving in the country must provide evidence of a negative Covid-19 test result, taken up to three days before departure.
Some people are exempt from this rule, e.g. aircraft pilots and crew, and border security staff.
If travellers do not do this, airlines may refuse to take them and/or they could be fined £500.
Provide journey and contact details
Before heading to the airport, travellers have to provide their journey and contact details via an online passenger locator form. They must then ensure they have a copy of their filled in form at border control – this can be a digital or hard copy.
Self isolate for 10 days
Even with a negative test, travellers must self-isolate for 10 days after arriving in the UK, unless they have come from Ireland or they are exempt from doing so. If they are in the country for fewer than 10 days, they are required to isolate for the length of their stay. They may be able to end self-isolation early if they pay for a private coronavirus test.
Those who fail to self-isolate after arrival may be fined up to £10,000.
What are the new hotel quarantine rules? Which countries are affected?
People returning from 30 countries must stay in specific accommodation for 10 days.
The 30 countries are:
Democratic Republic of Congo
Portugal (including Madeira and the Azores)
Will travellers have to pay for their quarantine accommodation?
Travellers arriving in the country will have to cover the cost of staying in a quarantine hotel for 10 days, which could be around £1,500, ITV News understands.