People travelling into the UK from a ‘red list' of countries will have to quarantine in government-approved hotels from 15 February.
The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) said discussions with the transport and hospitality industry are "already under way" and the department issued a commercial specification to hotels near ports and airports last night, asking for proposals on how they can support the delivery of managed quarantine facilities ahead of formal contracts being awarded – just 10 days before the approved facilities would be expected to receive travellers.
Over the past week, the government has met with stakeholders from across the aviation, maritime, hotel and hospitality industry, and will continue to finalise plans to enable implementation from 15 February.
DHSC said it has held a series of roundtables with over 60 companies and industry representatives, and further details will be set out next week on how passengers will be able to book into designated accommodation facilities.
The prime minister confirmed the move last week to help tackle the spread of new variants of Covid-19. Best Western GB boss Rob Paterson said yesterday that although the group had been aware of the intention to introduce hotel quarantine for some time, and had offered its facilities, it still had not heard anything from the government.
A DHSC spokesperson said: "We are now working at pace to secure the facilities we need to roll out managed quarantine for British nationals returning home from the most high risk countries, and are rightly engaging with representatives from the hospitality, maritime and aviation industry, and learning from our friends around the world. In the face of new variants, it is important that the government continues to take the necessary steps to protect people and save lives."