Covid: What forced hotel quarantine for UK arrivals could look like

  • Video report by ITV News UK Editor Paul Brand

International arrivals will soon have to pay upwards of £1,500 to enter quarantine hotels in a bid to "protect the UK population and country" against new variants of Covid-19, ITV News understands.

Ministers are considering the measure in a bid to combat the spread of coronavirus variants, such as strains discovered in Brazil and South Africa which could lead to a further surge in virus cases.

It is understood there are currently disagreements, in the government, over whether to apply the new rules to just at-risk countries or globally.

ITV News understands that affected passengers will be escorted from the airport to the hotel - avoiding all communal areas and into a hotel room, where they will be required to stay for 10 days.

ITV News UK Editor Paul Brand reports: "Passengers will be given three meals each day, with security ensuring they do not leave the hotel.

"This will cost around £1,500 - to be paid by the passenger."

  • ITV News Political Editor Robert Peston explains how the government is looking to place passengers arriving from the likes of South Africa, Brazil and Portugal in hotel quarantine

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "We want to make sure that we protect our population, protect this country, protect it from reinfection from abroad.

"So that idea of looking at hotels is certainly now one thing we're actively working on."

One UK hotel chain is ready to offer 5,000 rooms for international arrivals.

Head of Hotel Services at the Best Western, Andrew Denton, told ITV News: "Those conversations have accelerated in the last couple of weeks. We had meetings on Friday with the NHS and we are expecting an announcement imminently.

"We hope to get the green light and go ahead to start helping tomorrow [Tuesday]," Mr Denton adds.

However, Heathrow airport has warned requiring all international arrivals to enter quarantine hotels would have "huge ramifications" for the aviation sector.

A Heathrow spokesman said: "We support measures that will bring the Covid-19 crisis to an end once and for all.

"However, we must be clear that a blanket hotel quarantine is effectively the closure of our borders which carries huge ramifications for Britain and its aviation sector, already on its knees."

Mr Johnson is expected to chair a meeting of the Government’s Covid-O committee on Tuesday to decide on stricter rules for arriving travellers.