Mandatory 10-day hotel quarantine on arrival to the UK has begun. 

Arrivals to the UK from one of the 33 countries on the red list will now have to quarantine in a government-approved facility for 10 days at their own cost. 

The new regulations aim to stop Covid variants from entering the country and apply to arrivals from a red list county. 

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said:

"The rules coming into force today will bolster the quarantine system and provide another layer of security against new variants at the border"

Arrivals have to pre-book and pay £1,750 to spend 10 days (11 nights) in one of the 16 government-sanctioned hotels.

Who does this affect?

The rule applies to UK and Irish nationals, and UK residents, returning to the UK. 

Travel into the UK is banned for anyone that is not a returning national or resident. 

Does it matter which part of the UK you arrive in?

Yes. In Scotland the policy applies to all arrivals, but in England it is only relevant for those who have been in a country on the Government’s travel ban “red list” in the past 10 days.

There are no international flights arriving in Wales or Northern Ireland.

What is a “red list” country?

This is a list of 33 countries deemed at high risk of coronavirus variants, which includes all of South America, southern Africa, Portugal and the United Arab Emirates.

The full list can be found on the Government’s website.

What must travellers do before returning to England? 

They must take a coronavirus test and get a negative result in the three days before they travel.

The Argus:

New rules for returning passengers come into force from February 15 (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Those coming from a country on the Government’s banned list must book a “managed self-isolation package” which includes a hotel, transport and testing.

Passengers will also be required to complete a passenger locator form with details of where they will quarantine on arrival.

Those who provide false information on their locator form could face up to 10 years in prison.

How much does it cost to stay at a quarantine hotel?

The Government’s quarantine package includes the cost of transport from the airport to the designated hotel, food, accommodation and testing.

A single adult will be charged £1,750 for one room for the duration of their stay, an additional £650 for anyone over the age of 12 and £325 for children aged between five and 12.

There are no additional fees for children under five.

Read more: GPs are expected to provide Covid vaccination record for holidays.

Read more: Gatwick hotels are expected to be booked up with quarantine arrivals.

What if you don’t book a quarantine hotel?

People face a fine of up to £4,000 for not booking a quarantine package, and will still have to pay for one on arrival.

The Argus:

A room in the Novotel London Heathrow Airport T1, T2 and T3 Hotel where passengers entering England from one of 33 ‘red list’ countries will stay (Filip Gierlinski/PA)

Can you fly into any airport?

No. Those booked into a quarantine hotel can only fly into Heathrow, Gatwick, London City, Birmingham and Farnborough airports.

Those with pre-existing bookings to a different port of entry must change it to one of the above.

People who fail to do this face a fine of up to £10,000.

Are you tested during your stay?

Guests need to take a Covid-19 test on or before day two of their stay, followed by another on or after day eight.

Those who refuse to take a test will face a £2,000 fine, the Government said.

What if you test positive whilst in quarantine? 

Those who test positive on day two must quarantine until day 12.

People who return a positive result on day eight must stay until day 18 and so on.

When can you leave a quarantine hotel?

People will be able to leave after receiving a negative result from the Covid-19 test on day eight and have quarantined for a full 10 days.

What if you're returning from a non-“red list” country?

Passengers must instead quarantine for 10 days at home and complete two Covid-19 tests on the second and eighth day after arriving.