Travel rule breakers face 10 years in prison or £10,000 fines

TRAVELLERS returning to the UK from certain countries will have to pay £1,750 to stay quarantine in hotels from Monday, the Government has announced.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced today, new fines and prison sentences for travel rule breakers alongside a cost of £1,750 for all arrivals who are required to quarantine in hotels.

New £10,000 fines will be dished out to international arrivals who fail to take Covid-19 tests and those who lie on their passenger locator forms now face up to 10 years in jail.

Mr Hancock told the Commons today: “People who flout these rules are putting us all at risk.

“Passenger carriers will have a duty in law to make sure that passengers have signed up for these new arrangements before they travel, and will be fined if they don’t, and we will be putting in place tough fines for people who don’t comply.

“This includes a £1,000 penalty for any international arrival who fails to take a mandatory test, a £2,000 penalty for any international arrival who fails to take the second mandatory test, as well as automatically extending their quarantine period to 14 days, and a £5,000 fixed penalty notice – rising to £10,000 – for arrivals who fail to quarantine in a designated hotel.”

He added: “Anyone who lies on the passenger locator form and tries to conceal that they’ve been in a country on the red list in the 10 days before arrival here will face a prison sentence of up to 10 years.”

Mr Hancock said the measures will be put into law this week and more resources will be available to enforce them, adding: “I make no apologies for the strength of these measures because we’re dealing with one of the strongest threats to our public health that we’ve faced as a nation.”

Setting out the new health measures at the border which will come into force on Monday, Mr Hancock said: “We’re setting up a new system of hotel quarantine for UK and Irish residents who’ve been in red list countries in the last 10 days. In short, this means that any returning residents from these countries will have to quarantine in an assigned hotel room for 10 days from the time of arrival.

“Before they travel, they’ll have to book through an online platform and pay for a quarantine package costing £1,750 for an individual travelling alone which includes the hotel, transport and testing. This booking system will go live on Thursday when we’ll also publish the full detailed guidance.

“Passengers will only be able to enter the UK through a small number of ports that currently account for the vast majority of passenger arrivals. When they arrive, they’ll be escorted to a designated hotel which will be closed to guests who aren’t quarantining, for 10 days or for longer if they test positive for Covid-19 during their stay.

“We’ve contracted 16 hotels for an initial 4,600 rooms and we will secure more as they are needed. People will need to remain in their rooms and of course will not be allowed to mix with other guests and there will be visible security in place to ensure compliance alongside necessary support, so even as we protect public health we can look after the people in our care.”