Mandatory hotel quarantine for UK residents and nationals arriving from international locations on the “pink listing” will come into effect on 15 February – greater than two weeks after the transfer was first introduced by the prime minister.
Below the coverage, individuals coming back from greater than 30 high-risk nations will need to quarantine for 10 days in government-approved lodging.
Nations on the listing embrace all of South America, southern Africa, Portugal and the United Arab Emirates – international locations from the place non-residents and nationals are already banned from getting into the UK.
The coverage is being launched to keep away from the importation and unfold of latest variants of COVID-19, amid fears that they may affect upon the efficacy of vaccines.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson introduced the transfer on the finish of final month, with the delay in implementing the measure drawing criticism from Labour and the journey business.
Labour’s shadow dwelling secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds stated it was “past comprehension” that the coverage wouldn’t come into effect till 15 February.
“We’re in a race in opposition to time to guard our borders in opposition to new COVID strains. But hotel quarantine will come in to drive greater than 50 days after the South African pressure was found,” he stated.
“Even when these measures ultimately start, they will not go nowhere close to far sufficient to be efficient in stopping additional variants. As ever with this authorities, it’s too little, too late.”
A Division of Well being and Social Care spokesperson stated the division was “working at tempo to safe the services we have to roll out managed quarantine for British nationals returning dwelling from essentially the most high-risk international locations”.
They added that ministers had been “rightly partaking with representatives from the hospitality, maritime and aviation business, and studying from our mates all over the world”.
The spokesperson continued: “Within the face of latest variants, it will be significant that the federal government continues to take the required steps to guard individuals and save lives.”
Extra particulars will be set out subsequent week on how travellers can e book into the quarantine lodging.
The federal government stated it had held conferences with representatives from the aviation, maritime, hotel and hospitality industries in latest days forward of the announcement, in addition to holding roundtable discussions with dozens of firms and business representatives.
A business specification has been issued to accommodations close to ports and airports, asking them for concepts on how they’ll assist the quarantine plans earlier than formal contracts are awarded.
Well being Secretary Matt Hancock has been chosen to supervise the quarantine coverage, with a brand new cupboard sub-committee chaired by him to spearhead the transfer.
The DHSC spokesperson claimed the federal government has taken “decisive motion” all through the pandemic and consequently has “one of many hardest border regimes on this planet”.
The quarantine announcement comes after ministers eliminated the entire UK’s journey corridors, which means everybody coming again into the nation now has to self-isolate for 10 days, no matter the place they’ve come from.
Individuals travelling to England even have to indicate they’ve examined unfavorable for the virus throughout the final 72 hours.
As well as, the PM has been stressing that beneath England’s nationwide lockdown, it’s at the moment “unlawful to depart dwelling to journey overseas for leisure functions”.
However since Mr Johnson introduced the quarantine coverage on 27 January, there have been persistent questions on when it might take effect.
That very same day, House Secretary Priti Patel stated additional particulars could be set out later that week, though no particulars had been forthcoming.
The PM then advised a Downing Avenue information convention on Wednesday that the well being secretary could be setting out additional particulars within the Commons on Thursday. However Quantity 10 later stated this was not the case.
And because the quarantine coverage was introduced, the federal government has been dealing with requires more durable motion.
Labour has been demanding that ministers make travellers arriving from all international locations go into obligatory quarantine.
And Scotland has opted for a extra widespread method, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon this week saying a “managed quarantine” for all arrivals into the nation, no matter the place travellers have come from.