QUARANTINE hotels have become a reality in the UK from today, Monday.
Some international arrivals will now be required to quarantine in a hotel room for over a week upon returning to the UK.
Generally, travelling into Wales from abroad is not permitted whilst living under the current alert level 4 restrictions. However, there are limited circumstances where it is permitted – such as for work purposes, education or to return home.
Here is everything you need to know about the new measures and how they may affect you:
Who does this affect?
The rule applies to UK and Irish nationals, and UK residents, returning to the UK.
Does it matter which part of the UK I arrive in?
Yes. In Scotland the policy applies to all arrivals, but in England it is only relevant for those who have been in a country on the Government’s travel ban “red list” in the past 10 days.
There are no international flights arriving in Wales or Northern Ireland.
What is a ‘red list’ country?
This is a list of 33 countries deemed at high risk of coronavirus variants – which includes all of South America, southern Africa, Portugal and the United Arab Emirates to name a few.
The full list can be found here on the Welsh Government’s website.
What about people who are not a UK or Irish national or a UK resident?
If they have been in a ‘red list’ country in the past 10 days, they are banned from entering the UK.
What should I do before I return to Wales?
From February 15, all people who have been in a ‘red list’ country in the previous 10 days will not be allowed into Wales.
Travellers returning to the UK from these countries must arrive through one of the designated ports of entry to the UK in England or Scotland. They must then isolate for 10 days in a managed quarantine hotel.
All travellers to Wales from ‘amber list’ countries (any country outside of the Common Travel Area and not on the ‘red list’) must have pre-booked tests before departure for themselves and all members of their group including children aged 5 or over.
This is in addition to the Pre-Departure Testing requirement. This states that all travellers to Wales must have a negative COVID test within 72 hours before departure for all travellers age 11 and over.
If your test result is positive, you must not travel.
If you arrive in Wales without proof of a negative test result, you could be fined £500.
How much does a stay at a quarantine hotel cost?
The Government’s quarantine package includes the cost of transport from the airport to the designated hotel, food, accommodation and testing.
A single adult will be charged £1,750 for one room for the duration of their stay, an additional £650 for anyone over the age of 12 and £325 for children aged between five and 12.
There will be no additional fees for children under five.
What if I don’t book a quarantine hotel?
People face a fine of up to £4,000 for not booking a quarantine package – and will still have to pay for one on arrival.
Can I fly into any airport?
No. Those booked into a quarantine hotel can only fly into Heathrow, Gatwick, London City, Birmingham and Farnborough airports. Those with pre-existing bookings to a different port of entry must change it to one of the above.
People who fail to do this face a fine of up to £10,000.
What happens when I arrive?
Travellers need to provide their passenger locator form, passport and a negative Covid-19 test result to Border Force staff.
They will then be transported to their quarantine hotel, with transport also arranged back to the airport at the end of their stay.
Guests are required to quarantine in their hotel room for 10 days.
How many quarantine hotels are there?
The Government has struck deals with 16 hotels so far, providing 4,963 rooms for the new quarantine system, with a further 58,000 rooms currently on standby.
Will I be tested during my stay?
Guests need to take a Covid-19 test on or before day two of their stay, followed by another on or after day eight.
Those who refuse to take a test will face a £2,000 fine, the Government said.
What happens if I test positive?
Those who test positive on day two must quarantine until day 12. People who return a positive result on day eight must stay until day 18.
When can I leave my quarantine hotel?
People will be able to leave after receiving a negative result from the Covid-19 test on day eight and have quarantined for a full 10 days.
What if I’m returning from a non-‘red list’ country?
Passengers must instead quarantine for 10 days at home and complete two Covid-19 tests on the second and eighth day after arriving.