Hotels close to UK airports, the Eurostar terminal and ports are set to become part of a government quarantine plan from 15 February to the end of March to limit the spread of coronavirus variants.
All those arriving from identified COVID-19 hotspots – those currently listed include Portugal, the UAE, much of South America and southern Africa – will have to stay in the nominated hotels for 10 nights.
It’s thought that during this time they will have to clean their own rooms, but a deep clean will be required after their departure and the room kept empty for 72 hours.
The reluctant guests will be met at airports and taken by designated transport to hotels in the scheme, with their luggage transported separately. Security teams will escort them and patrol public areas. Special laundry services will be set up for those short of clean clothes. Three meals a day will be delivered to rooms, along with items such as fruit and non-alcoholic drinks.
Those likely to be affected are mostly UK residents and Irish nationals returning from the listed countries. The cost of their enforced stays is expected to be paid by the government but later collected from the travellers. All arrivals must already have a negative coronavirus test and Passenger Locator Form to enter the UK.
Formal contracts with hotel groups were being discussed early this week, based on more than 1,000 UK residents arriving each day, although the quarantine plan is expected to reduce those numbers.