‘WE MUST take additional steps to strengthen our borders,’ said Tory PM Johnson in Parliament yesterday, outlining the new Hotel Quarantine system.
The system means that British Nationals and people from abroad will be served with a hotel bill at the end of the ten days of forced quarantine that will set them back well over £1,000.
He said: ‘We have already temporarily closed all travel corridors.
‘We are already requiring anyone coming into this country to have proof of a negative Covid test. They must also complete a Passenger Locator Form before they board and then quarantine on arrival for ten days.
‘I want to make clear that under the “Stay at Home” regulations it is illegal to leave home to travel abroad for leisure purposes.
‘We have also banned travel from 22 countries where there is a risk of new variants including South Africa, Portugal and South American nations, and in order to reduce the risk posed by UK nationals and residents returning home from these countries I can announce that we will require all such arrivals that cannot be refused entry to isolate in government-provided accommodation such as hotels for ten days without exception. They will be met at the airport and transported directly into quarantine.’
He said that by mid-February the government will publish a plan to take Britain out of lockdown.
He went on to announce that schools will not reopen before Monday 8 March.
He said: ‘Reopening of schools must be our national priority. I know how parents and teachers need as much certainty as possible including two weeks notice of the return of face-to-face teaching. So for the reasons that I have outlined it will not be possible to reopen schools immediately after the February half-term.’
He added: ‘We hope that it will be safe to begin to reopen schools from Monday 8 March.’
Setting out the details of the Quarantine Hotels scheme, Tory Home Secretary Patel told Parliament: ‘It is clear that there are still too many people coming in and out of our country each day.
‘So today I am announcing further action to strengthen the measures we already have at the border.
‘First, the police have stepped up checks to ensure that people are complying with the self-isolation rules.
‘Second we will continue to refuse entry to non-UK residents from red list countries, who are already subject to the UK travel ban.
‘Third, as the Prime Minister has said we will introduced a new managed isolation process in hotels for those who cannot be refused entry, including those arriving home from countries where we have already imposed international travel bans.
‘They will be required to isolate for ten days without exemptions.’
She added: ‘People should be staying at home unless they have a valid reason to leave. Going on holiday is not a valid reason. People wishing to travel will have to declare their reason for travel. We will be posting police at airports fining those in breach of the “Stay at Home” regulations.’