The government has confirmed UK residents returning from travel to 33 counties on the Red List Covid-19 hotspots will be required to quarantine in hotels from 15 February. Passengers arriving in the UK will stay in hotel rooms for 10 nights, where security guards will monitor and control any movements from quarantine.
The quarantine measure has been a political hot potato for months, and even now as the government looks to implement the action, Labour and many others remain hugely critical over the delay.
Last night on BBC Question Time, Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport was asked repeatedly by the virtual audience to clarify the government’s position. Dowden, clearly uncomfortable with the repeated scrutiny dodged answering any of the questions directly.
Later in the programme one of the audience brought the lack of clarity from government into the question of why levels of vaccination in BAME groups was high compared to others. He cited the example of Dowden being unwilling or unable to answer on hotel quarantine as a classic example of why the government was not trusted by some. It was a moment of realisation that seemed to resonate with others emphasising the need for candid communication.
The delays in action remain a focus of criticism and Labour has labelled the measures “too little, too late” as mutated international strains of Covid-19 still have relative ease of entry to the UK until the week after next.
The shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds MP was forthright in his views saying: “It is beyond comprehension that these measures won’t even start until 15 February.”
The location of hotels required for implementation will be close to major airports, including Heathrow, Gatwick, London City, Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen.
The quarantine measures will apply to all UK residents still allowed to travel returning to the UK from 33 Red List Covid-19 hotspots. The people being quarantined are also required to pay for the cost of the hotel directly.
Even before the new legislation starts, Labour remains unusually vocal and is calling for government to make hotel quarantine applicable all arrivals into the UK, not just the Red List.
The government said that the call from the opposition was implausible, pointing to that equating to placing circa 20,000 people a day into hotel quarantine.
Maybe the wider question is why are 20,000 people a day allowed international travel, when people running hospitality businesses can’t open their doors, or even walk down the road to meet family or friends.
News from the hospitality and catering industry is also being featured extensively in our Facebook and twitter social media accounts with the opportunity to engage with others in hospitality and share your views.
Hospitality & Catering News: Hotel quarantine row continues to rage – 5 February 2021 – Hotel quarantine row continues to rage.
Copyright: All content in Hospitality & Catering News is protected by copyright.