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New Government Travel Restrictions

Posted on February 2021 By Jamie Southwell

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Yesterday the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, appeared in the house of commons to announce new fines of up to £10,000 and jail sentences of up to 10 years as a way of preventing further spreading of the coronavirus from international passengers.

Beginning from Monday the 15th of February, these tougher health measures will require all arrivals into the United Kingdom to take a total of two tests for the virus on the second and eighth day of their 10-day quarantine. The tests will cost individuals £210 confirmed the Health Secretary.

Building upon the pre-existing restrictions of: banning entry from all red list countries, all passengers arriving presenting proof of a negative test from a period of three days before, mandatory self-isolation on arrival, and a passenger locator form on arrival.

Countries included in the red list are as follows:

  • Angola

  • Argentina

  • Bolivia

  • Botswana

  • Brazil

  • Burundi

  • Cape Verde

  • Chile

  • Colombia

  • Democratic Republic of the Congo

  • Ecuador

  • Eswatini

  • French Guiana

  • Guyana

  • Lesotho

  • Malawi

  • Mauritius

  • Mozambique

  • Namibia

  • Panama

  • Paraguay

  • Peru

  • Portugal (including Madeira and the Azores)

  • Rwanda

  • Seychelles

  • South Africa

  • Suriname

  • Tanzania

  • United Arab Emirates (UAE)

  • Uruguay

  • Venezuela

  • Zambia

  • Zimbabwe

Those coming from the countries above will be required to stay in the government-designated hotels for their 10-day quarantine period, costing them £1,750. Matt Hancock said there are 16 hotels with 4,600 rooms as a part of the operation and actions will be taken against those who ignore the demands.

Penalties involve:

  • £1,000 fine for travellers failing to undergo the enforced coronavirus tests.

  • £2,000 fine and 14-day isolation extension for failing to undergo the second enforced coronavirus test.

  • £5,000-10,000 fine for failing to quarantine in the provided hotel.

  • £10,000 or prosecution of up to 10 years in prison for attempting to misinform on the passenger locator form.​

Following from the data provided yesterday of 12,364 daily cases and 1,052 daily deaths, the Health Secretary reassured us on the reasoning for the announcement by stating “we’re strengthening our defences through these vital measures”.

Passengers required to stay in one of the mandated hotels will need room reservations which open from Thursday onwards and transportation is going to be provided to ensure individuals do not stray away from the location after landing. Upon arrival from the previous country, multiple checks will be carried out by carriers, airport staff, border force officers, and relevant regular police visits for those staying at home.