Hotel Quarantine ‘Red List’ UK Arrivals May Be ‘Free To Mix With Other Passengers’.
THE FIRST guests will check into government quarantine hotels today, Monday, amid warnings of five-hour airport queues and “red list” country arrivals being allowed to mix with other passengers.
There are reportedly no protocols in place to stop passengers travelling to the UK from the 33 “red list” countries mixing with other travellers on planes and in airports. This has sparked fears passengers might pass on different strains of Covid to others before they even reach the hotel to start their 10-day quarantine.
Bosses at Heathrow, Britain’s busiest airport, warned yesterday that queues at passport control have been up to five hours long recently, blaming a shortage of Border Force staff, and saying that many desks were left empty.
The airport said that the situation was “totally unacceptable” and warned that some arriving flights might have to be suspended if the backlog could not be cleared more quickly.
“As this deadly virus evolves, so must our defences,” health minister Matt Hancock said in a statement. “The rules coming into force today will bolster the quarantine system and provide another layer of security against new variants at the border.”
The government has lined up 4,963 hotel rooms that must be booked in advance as part of a ‘quarantine package’. These hotels will have a “visible security presence”, the government said. A further 58,000 rooms are understood to be on standby.
Countries on the red list include South Africa and Brazil – both of which have seen variants of the virus that could reduce the efficacy of existing vaccines.
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