Home » Politics » Laura Kuennssberg lifts lid on Boris Johnson hotel quarantine announcement today
Laura Kuennssberg lifts lid on Boris Johnson hotel quarantine announcement today
January 27, 2021
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The BBC’s political editor shared on Twitter ministers “broadly” agree returning travellers must quarantine in hotels to prevent the spread of coronavirus. It comes after the Government closed all travel corridors last week, with a view to lift the restrictions by February 15 at the earliest.
Government ministers met on Tuesday night to hammer out details of a mandatory quarantine plan for travellers.
Following the meeting, Ms Kuennsberg said full details of the quarantine plans will be confirmed by Home Secretary Priti Patel later today.
Ms Kuennsberg said on Twitter: “No official detail out of Covid O meeting tonight – but whispers that ministers’ agreement broadly what expected.
“Brits coming home from high-risk countries likely to be bussed to hotels for quarantine – full details will be confirmed by Home Sec in Commons tomorrow.”
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Hotel plans are understood to see British nationals arriving from “high-risk” countries quarantine at their own expense for up to 10 days.
Quarantine measures are also expected to apply to people coming from most of South America, southern Africa and Portugal over fears of new coronavirus strains.
Iain Watson, BBC political correspondent, claimed Ms Patel and Transport Secretary Grant Shapps disagreed on how far the measure should go.
Ms Patel is said to have favoured a widespread application of the quarantine rule, while Mr Shapps argued for a targeted approach.
Ms Patel has previously warned MPs the Government “will not hesitate to take further action” against new variants of coronavirus.
Speaking on Tuesday, the Home Secretary added “measures are always under review”.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has also called for strict measures to combat new variants of coronavirus, including quarantine hotels for all arrivals.
He said: “It’s very clear that we need to have quarantine comprehensively in hotels for everybody coming into the country, we need much stronger defences at our borders.”
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UK airline bosses have written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson urging him to reconsider measures and insisting there is not enough evidence hotel quarantines are necessary.
The Airport Operators Association and Airlines UK insisted the country already had “some of the highest levels of restrictions in the world” and introducing stricter rules would be “catastrophic”.
Emma Brennan, spokeswoman at the Association of British Travel Agents, also said the travel sector needs a “roadmap” out of coronavirus restrictions.
She added: “Our call is for the government to consider the impact that this is going to have on the travel industry and the support that we need after a very difficult year and more difficult months ahead.”
Hotel quarantines for international arrivals are enforced in Australia and New Zealand.
It comes as the UK recorded another 20,089 cases and 1,631 deaths within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test.
In total, the UK has seen 3,689,746 cases and 100,162 deaths within 28 days of a positive test.
Mr Johnson said in a press briefing yesterday he was “deeply sorry” for the deaths caused by the pandemic.