Hotels contracted for quarantine scheme in England and Scotland

09 February 2021 by
Hotels contracted for quarantine scheme in England and Scotland

Health secretary Matt Hancock has confirmed that 16 hotels in England have been contracted for the government's hotel quarantine scheme for an initial 4,600 bedrooms.

The government is currently keeping secret which hotels have been selected "for commercial reasons", although this may become clearer when the booking site opens on Thursday (11 January).

Of the hotel groups contacted by The Caterer, Accor said it had received the commercial specifications for its hotels and discussions were "well under way" and its hotels "stand ready", however a spokesperson could not confirm if any Accor hotels were included in the 16 already contracted.

Budget chain Travelodge said it was not participating in the scheme as the programme was designed for a full service proposition, nor was Premier Inn.

Stansted is understood to not be included on the government's list of airport hubs for quarantine hotels, and AGO Hotels and OYO both said they were not among the 16, although a spokesperson for OYO said it had submitted its proposal to government and is awaiting feedback.

Yotels at Heathrow and Gatwick are located in terminals that are not currently open to the public, and a spokesperson said they would remain closed until the terminals reopen. Radisson Hotel Group and IHG Hotels & Resorts declined to comment. Hilton did not respond to request for comment.

Hancock confirmed "we will secure more as they are needed" and that ‘quarantine hotels' will be closed to non-quarantining guests.

From Monday 15 February, any UK and Ireland residents entering England who have been in the government's ‘red list' of countries in the 10 days prior will have to quarantine in an assigned hotel room for 10 days. Hancock said the government is working on "similarly tough schemes" with the devolved administrations.

The 'quarantine package', which will cover hotel, transport and testing, will cost travellers £1,750 based on an individual travelling alone. Further guidance and a booking portal for travellers will go live on Thursday (11 February).

Stricter penalties were also announced for those found to be breaking the rules, including a fine of up to £10,000 for arrivals who fail to quarantine in a designated hotel and up to 10 years in jail for those who lie on their passenger locator forms.

All arrivals to Scotland from outside the UK and Ireland will also be required to quarantine in hotels for at least 10 days from Monday.

Six hotels close to Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow airports with a combined capacity of 1,300 rooms will be used to implement the quarantine at a cost of £1,750 per individual traveller.

A spokesperson for Accor in the UK said: "We have been working closely with the authorities since the very beginning of this pandemic, and this continues today. We have had confirmation that managed quarantine facilities will come into effect from 15 February and we have received the commercial specifications for our hotels.

"Discussions are well under way with government and our hotels stand ready to support the government's call for quarantine in order to enable safe travel for Brits and essential international travel in these challenging Covid times, just as we have done in other countries. Accommodating those in crisis and those fighting the crisis throughout the pandemic has accelerated our knowledge of health and safety procedures and enables our frontline hotel teams to do what they do best, which is to take good care of people."

Photo: Shutterstock

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