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12th February update: Home Office minister Victoria Atkins said it is “reasonable” to allow travellers quarantining in hotels a “gulp of fresh air”, despite an epidemiologist warning it is “risky”. She also announced that hotels will be adhering to the very strict measures in place in relation to social distancing and face masks and so on.

From Monday 15th February 2021, the UK government’s mandatory hotel quarantine for all arrivals from the 33 high risk countries will be imposed “without exception”. This includes returning British and Irish nationals as well as UK residents. These latest travel rules are in response to the new variants of Covid-19 as well as mutations found in South Africa and Brazil.

Health secretary Matt Hancock has confirmed that 16 hotels with up to 4,600 rooms have already been contracted. Like other countries that have imposed similar quarantine rules and travellers are expected to finance the 10-day quarantine themselves. The £1,750 fee per person will include accommodation, meals, transport to the hotel and the Covid-19 tests. The negative “three test rule” remains. Tests are required up to 72 hours before travel, day 2 on arrival and finally on the 8th day of quarantine. It is expected that there will be “visible security” to ensure that people stay in their rooms and not mix with other travellers.

Harsh penalties have been set and expected to be imposed for:

  • Failing to quarantine – this will carry a fine of £5,000 to £10,000.
  • Falsifying travel history – passengers can face a prison sentence of up to 10 years in the worst case.

This is on top of the existing fines for failing to quarantine or fill out a passenger locator form.

Please contact us if you need any further information or assistance.


Bee has more than 18 years’ experience in UK immigration and nationality law and has been advising businesses that have been expanding into the UK or growing their UK presence or workforce.