All travellers entering the UK could face an “Australian” style quarantine by being forced to self-isolate in hotels in a bid to stop the spread of Covid-19.
MPs have asked officials to be prepared for stricter self-isolation rules with the creation of quarantine hotels for new arrivals entering the UK.
The news comes after a Covid-19 variant was found in South Africa and Brazil, with scientific advisers now warning more are “likely to develop” and could be easily spread to each corner of the world.
The Independent Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies reported that the “poorly functioning” self-isolation system is currently “undermined” by the very large number of
exemptions that are available under the current government guidance.
The group has urged the government to change its quarantine rules, suggesting that a “revised and more effective system” for people arriving in the UK is required. One of the groups recommendations is to instigate a hotel quarantine rule which would effectively ensure arrivals to the UK self-isolate or risk being fined £500.
Under the new guidelines for entry into the UK all travel corridors have been suspended. Additionally, all international arrivals to the UK from any country (including British and Irish Nationals) must now take a pre-departure Covid-19 test and self-isolate for 10 days upon arrival.
Grant Shapps, Transport Secretary, said: “We are operating in a completely new environment in our fight against Covid-19, with several worrying new strains of the virus emerging across the globe.
“Now more than ever, as we make strides vaccinating people up and down the country, we need to take advantage of all measures available to us – and these robust emergency precautions will help us protect the nation to ensure we continue to make progress.”