The UK government first introduced the concept of quarantine hotels on 15 February, mandated for all travellers returning to the UK from “high risk” countries.
Since 17 May, when international leisure travel became legal again through a traffic light system, this requirement has been applied to all arrivals from “red list” countries.
Countries have been reshuffled between the categories of green, amber and red, with accompanying restrictions to match, every three weeks, with the latest update on 4 August bringing the total number of red list destinations to 60.
Only British or Irish nationals or those with UK residency rights are permitted to enter the UK from countries designated red.
But who pays for quarantine and how much does it cost?
Who pays for hotel quarantine?
The burden of payment for room and board falls upon the traveller. Anyone travelling to the UK from a high-risk country must factor in the extra cost and have pre-booked and paid for a package of 10 days and 11 nights in a quarantine hotel.
Fines of up to £10,000 will apply to arrivals who fail to undergo the stipulated hotel quarantine.
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How much does it cost?
The full price is currently £1,750 per solo traveller, with additional people in the same hotel room paying significantly less. The second person pays £650, with further discounts for children: £325 each. A family of four staying together pays £3,050.
However, the rates for hotel quarantine will be increasing to £2,285 for a single adult and £1,430 for a second adult from 12 August. The price remains unchanged at £325 for children aged 5-12 and free for children under 5.
Does the price include food and cleaning?
The price includes transport from the airport to the “government-approved facility” (the hotel), three meals a day, security and testing. During the stay “quarantinees” will undergo two Covid tests: one on day two, the next on day eight. Those who test positive are likely to have their stay extended, unless hospital treatment is needed.
The price might also cover laundry and security services – but rooms are unlikely to be cleaned during a traveller’s stay due to the risk of coronavirus transmission.