Cost of quarantine UK: How much you’ll have to pay to quarantine after your holiday
International travel has now reopened in a limited way as the summer holiday season gets underway. A limited number of countries, including Portugal and Iceland, have made the cut on the UK’s green list, meaning quarantine is not necessary on arrival back into the UK. But for those travelling elsewhere, the cost of quarantine can be enormous.
The UK Government announced earlier this year it would introduce a limited hotel quarantine policy for UK and Irish residents travelling to England from high-risk countries, or who have visited a high-risk country within the last 10 days.
Hotel quarantine applies without exception to travellers from relevant countries – whether vaccinated or not.
There are 33 countries on the red list, including India, Maldives, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey.
Despite restrictions still being in place, thousands of Brits have headed for their holiday to green and amber list countries.
Travel firms have reported a boost in demand for trips to Portugal, the only mediterranean holiday destination currently on the green list.
Travellers heading to Portugal will not need to self-isolate on their return, and are only required to take one post-arrival COVID-19 test.
However, some passengers catching flights at Gatwick Airport on Monday morning were making their way to amber list destinations – despite ministers warning against travel to these countries.
The news is hardly surprising, given that most places in Europe are on the amber list.
The public has been told not to visit these countries unless for essential purposes, although this is not enforced by law and flights to them are widely available.
Transport Secretary Grant Schapps told BBC Radio 4 Today: “The amber list and the red list are not for holidaymakers, that’s not the purpose of those lists at this time.
“We just think that after a year of lockdowns in this country, of people coming forward in record numbers to get their vaccines, we do not want to be in a position of taking risks at this stage about our unlock.”
Asked if he was pushing for the green list to be extended he said: “Of course. The reason for that is we have ended up getting way ahead in terms of our vaccination programme in this country and we are just having to wait for other countries to catch up with us.
“That’s going to gradually happen, obviously, you can see it’s happening, so that list should expand.”
How much does hotel quarantine cost?
Hotel quarantine is unavoidable and does not come cheap.
For a ten-day stay in a designated hotel, a whopping fee of £1,750 is needed for every adult.
On top of that, the rate for children over 12 is £650 and children between five and 12 will set you back £325.
While the cost is huge, the penalty for failing to do so is much, much bigger.
Those who try to avoid quarantine will be hit with a fixed penalty notice, ranging anywhere from £5,000 to £10,000.
Anecdotal reports coming from those who have recently been subject to quarantine have slammed the approach.
Dr Sanjay Gupta, from York, said there was a lack of social distancing on transport to hotels and that the meals given were worth much less than what he was paying.
He told Yorkshire Live: “The food initially was absolutely disgraceful.
“You are not even given a plate, let alone cutlery. When I first saw it, I was shocked.”
He added: “My worry here is that someone, somewhere is making a lot of profit here, someone has seen an opportunity in this unfortunate situation.
“If you think about it, what choice do people have? You can charge them whatever you like.”
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