HOTEL QUARANTINE – Pay £1,750 for ten days or fined £10,000 – Lie on locator form & face 10 years in jail

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Testing for Covid-19 – all arrivals to the UK will have to take two tests during their 10 days of quarantine

ANYONE who has visited one of the red list countries and who fails to quarantine in a government-designated hotel faces a fine of up to £10,000, Tory Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced yesterday, adding that anyone who lies on their passenger locator form faces 10 years in jail.

All those who do comply with the new rules have to pay £1,750 for the ten days stay in the quarantine hotel.

Speaking in a special parliamentary session yesterday, Hancock told the House of Commons: ‘Let me set out the three elements of the strengthened measures. Hotel quarantine, testing and enforcement.

‘First, we are setting up a new system of hotel quarantine for UK and Irish residents who have been in red list countries in the last ten days.

‘In short, this means that any returning residents from these countries will have to quarantine in an assigned hotel room for ten days from the time of arrival.

‘Before they travel, they will have to book through an online platform and pay for a quarantine package costing £1,750 for an individual travelling alone, which includes the hotel, transport and testing.

‘This system will go live on Thursday (tomorrow) when we will also publish the full details and guidance.

‘Second, we will strengthen testing. All international arrivals, whether under home quarantine or hotel quarantine, will be required by law to take further PCR tests on day two and day eight of that quarantine.

‘Third, we will be backing this new system with strong enforcement for both home quarantine and hotel quarantine.

‘Carriers will have a duty in law to make sure that passengers have signed up to these new arrangements before they travel, and will be fined if they don’t.

‘And we will be putting in place tough fines for people who do not comply, this includes a £1,000 fine for any international arrival who fails to take a mandatory test, £2,000 fine for any international arrival who fails to take a second mandatory test as well as automatically extending their quarantine period to 14 days.

‘And a £5,000 fixed penalty notice rising to £10,000 for arrivals who fail to quarantine in a designated hotel.

‘We are also coming down hard on people who provide false information on the passenger locator form. Anyone who lies on the passenger locator form or who tries to conceal that they have been in a country on the red list days before arrival here will face a prison sentence of up to ten years.

‘These measures will be put in this week.

‘I make no apologies for the strength of these measures.’

Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary Jonathan Ashworth responded: ‘He has announced a detailed package today, but he has not announced comprehensive quarantine controls at the borders. So why then, are over half of the countries that have been identified as having the South African variant not on red list?

‘According to newspaper reports he wanted to go further with quarantine arrangements.’

Offering to work with Hancock, Ashworth said: ‘I want that as well, the British public want that as well. So I will work with him to make that happen so that we can strengthen our borders and fix any holes in this nation’s defence.’