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Minister defends UK hotel quarantine plan

Minister defends UK hotel quarantine plan

February 5, 2021: James Cleverly, Foreign Office minister, has defended the government’s plan to quarantine travelers in hotels, beginning from February 15. Arrivals from COVID-19 variant hotspots will have to stay in a hotel for ten nights. The hotel quarantine requirements are being introduced to control the spread of coronavirus spread first identified in South Africa and Brazil.

According to scientists, the new variants can be more contagious, and the vaccines might lose their effectiveness.

The rules affect UK residents and Irish nationals traveling from 33 countries on the “red list,” including South America, southern Africa, the United Arab Emirates, and Portugal.

The non-UK nationals from these places are currently banned from entering the UK to be affected, but those with residents’ rights, and those holding long-term visas, will be covered.

Hotels near airports, including Heathrow, Gatwick, London City, Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Aberdeen, are expected to be booked for quarantine.

The government said it is working to secure the rooms it needs and has discussed with more than 60 companies in travel industries and hotels.

Quarantined travelers will be served three meals a day in their rooms. Anyone wanting to smoke outside or get fresh air will also be escorted by security staff.

“We had a meeting yesterday with about 35 members attending. We are waiting to hear the guidelines, but unfortunately, nothing has been received yet,” Adrian Ellis, the Manchester Hoteliers Association chair, told BBC Radio 4’s.

Documents suggest ministers expect over 1,000 UK residents a day to return from places where new variants are prevalent.

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