ANYONE travelling to the UK from a country on the travel ban list will have to quarantine in an approved hotel for 10 days, the Government has announced.
The measures will come into force from February 15.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has already spoken to his Australian counterpart to share expertise, with a similar conversation planned with New Zealand’s minister.
The Department of Health and Social Care has given a commercial specification to hotels near ports and airports, asking for proposals on how they can support the delivery of managed quarantine facilities ahead of formal contracts being awarded.
Over the past week, the government said it has met with stakeholders from across the aviation, maritime, hotel and hospitality industry, and will now continue to finalise plans.
DHSC has also held a series of roundtables with over 60 companies and industry representatives as the public and private sector work together to reduce transmissions of COVID-19.
Further details will be set out next week on how passengers will be able to book into the designated accommodation facilities.
This comes as the Prime Minister appoints the Health and Social Care Secretary to oversee cross-government efforts to deliver mandatory quarantine and enhanced testing which will help tackle the threats of new variants of Covid-19.
A new Cabinet sub-committee, led by the Health and Care Secretary, will be attended by a number of senior Cabinet ministers that will play a vital role in delivering the policy. The government is also working closely with the governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as the changes come into effect.
The Government said detailed work is already underway with the Home Office, Department for Transport, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and other government departments.
A DHSC spokesperson said: “Throughout the pandemic, the government has put in place proportionate measures, informed by the advice of scientists, and that has led to some of the toughest border regimes in the world.
“It is currently illegal to go on holiday, and passengers travelling to the UK must provide proof of a negative test before they travel, and self-isolate on arrival. With increased police presence at airports and more physical checks at addresses to make sure people are self-isolating, we are taking decisive action.
“We are now working at pace to secure the facilities we need to roll out managed quarantine for British nationals returning home from the most high risk countries, and are rightly engaging with representatives from the hospitality, maritime and aviation industry, and learning from our friends around the world.
“In the face of new variants, it is important that the government continues to take the necessary steps to protect people and save lives.”