BRITS will be slapped with a fine of up to £10,000 if they escape hotel quarantine before their isolation period is up – and face JAIL if they lie about their holiday destination.
Matt Hancock said that people who escape the quarantine hotel enforcement will be slapped with a fine of up to £10,000
Travellers arriving from ‘red list’ countries will have to isolate for 10 days in quarantine hotels
The Health Secretary also warned that passengers arriving from ‘red list’ countries will be forced to stay in the hotels for LONGER than 10 days – if they test positive.
All travellers entering the UK will have to take two coronavirus tests while self-isolating, it’s been confirmed.
And the entire process – including the two mandatory tests and a quarantine hotel room- will cost arrivals £1,750 each.
People must get a test on day two and day eight of their 10-day quarantine period.
If passengers leave the quarantine hotel before their 10 days are up, they will be handed a £5,000 coronavirus fine.
But this figure can increase up to £10,000, Mr Hancock warned.
And if the PCR tests come out positive, travellers will be forced to stay in the quarantine hotel until they are proven to no longer be infectious.
Mr Hancock said: “If either of these post arrival tests comes back positive, they’ll have to quarantine for a further 10 days from the date of the test.
“And they will of course be offered any NHS treatment that’s necessary.
“Any positive result will automatically undergo genomic sequencing to confirm whether they have a variant of concern.”
The Health Secretary said the new measures are being enforced so we can “protect the progress that we’ve worked together so hard to accomplish.”
Brits also face up to 10 years in jail if they refuse to tell authorities where they have been travelling – and are later found to have visited ‘red-list’ countries.
Passengers who dupe border authorities when coming back from Covid “red” countries like South Africa, Brazil or Dubai will be treated as criminals and have the book thrown at them.
Mr Hancock said: “Anyone who lies on the passenger locator form and tries to conceal that they’ve been in a country on the red list in the 10 days before arrival here will face a prison sentence of up to 10 years.”
And there will also be fines for people who fail to take the Covid tests on both occasions during their isolation period.
There will be a £1,000 penalty for failing to take the first coronavirus test, and a £2,000 fine for failing to take the second.
This comes as..
The tough rules come into force on Monday, February 15 – as the country toughens up its borders amid fears over vaccine-busting mutations of the virus.
People arriving from ‘red list’ countries will have to spend a week and a half isolating under guard in hotels.
But even those coming in from other locations that are not on the “red-list” will now be tested twice during their mandatory 10-day isolation at home.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: “Throughout the pandemic, the Government has put in place proportionate measures, informed by the advice of scientists, that have led to some of the toughest border regimes in the world.
“Enhancing our testing regime to cover all arrivals while they isolate will provide a further level of protection and enable us to better track any new cases which might be brought into the country, and give us even more opportunities to detect new variants.”
COVID HOTEL FINE
Professor David Heymann, of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said that testing people on arrival was “effective” as it isolated cases and reduced transmission.
Paul Charles, from travel consultancy PC Agency, praised the new testing measures, explaining that testing is the “way out of the pandemic” along with vaccines.
However, he also said on BBC’s Today programme: “If passengers are asked to a pay for three tests – because you have to take a test before you depart for the UK – that will obviously kill off travel.
“What is important is for government to be paying for these extra two tests, and one of them should be on arrival at port of entry to the UK, at the airport or the ferry terminal.”
More than 200,000 passengers from the ‘red list’ countries are set to enter the UK before rules forcing them to quarantine in hotels on arrival come into force.
Passenger data shows around 205,000 are expected to enter the country from the 33 countries in the next week.
And fears have mounted after a traveller, flying from Johannesburg in South Africa, walked through Heathrow with NO checks.
Sharon Feinstein, from Islington, North London, claims she went through the terminal yesterday with no questions asked, despite flying from Johannesburg – where the mutant Covid strain is rife.
Despite having documents to prove she had a negative test, there was no one to show it to, Ms Feinstein claims.
Travellers will face fines if they don’t adhere to the quarantine hotel and testing rules