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Government ‘looking at introducing quarantine hotels and enhanced monitoring of arrivals in UK’

Matt Watts
·2-min read
<p>Dominc Raab speaking on the Andrew Marr show on Sunday morning</p> (BBC)

Dominc Raab speaking on the Andrew Marr show on Sunday morning

(BBC)

The Government is considering introducing quarantine hotels in a bid to contain the threat of coronavirus variants spreading in the UK.

Last week officials were ordered to study New Zealand’s policy of “directed isolation”, where everyone arriving is charged for a stay at an airport hotel and forced to remain in isolation for two weeks, according to the Sunday Times.

In Australia it is between 14 and 24 days, with travellers charged between £1,500 and £2,500. The UK government is only considering a system where visitors pay the costs themselves, the newspaper said.

Mr Raab told Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday when asked about the reports: “We will consider all the measures in the round.

“In terms of enforcement, we are going to be strengthening the checks at the border – so when people come in to make sure that they have filled out the passenger location form, that they have got that negative test that they have to vouch for before they get on the flight.

“Also, because the effect of abolishing or suspending the travel corridors is that people go into quarantine and self-isolation for 10 days, we’re making sure that Public Health England checks to make sure people are adhering to those rules.

“As well as changing the rules, we are also making sure that we beef up the capacity to make those checks.”

Civil servants will also examine the possibility of emulating a scheme in Poland, where those told to isolate are subject to “enhanced monitoring”., according to reports.

Each person is contacted once a day and told to send a photograph of themselves at the location where they are confined. These are cross-referenced using GPS data and facial-recognition software. Those who fail to comply within 20 minutes receive a visit from police.

The Sunday times said it is understood that ministers discussed both Quarantine hotels and enhaced monitoring at a meeting on Thursday. A senior government source said that, if used, this technology would be confined to new arrivals in the UK, not those told to self-isolate who are already here.

The plans go further than changes announced last week that require everyone coming to the UK to produce a negative Covid test. From tomorrow “Air corridors”, which allowed some people to come in more easily will be completley scrapped.

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