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Travellers ‘face paying extra £500 for quarantine hotel’ to curb red list trips

Travellers returning from red list destinations face having to fork out an extra £500 to pay for their quarantine hotel stay.
Ministers are considering raising the cost to deter travellers from using the scheme (Picture: Getty/EPA)

Travellers returning from red list destinations face having to fork out an extra £500 to pay for their quarantine hotel stay.

Under plans reportedly being considered, the prince could increase to more than £2,250 in a bid to stop people making ‘unncessary trips’ to high-risk countries.

Ministers are said to be frustrated that the taxpayer is subsidising the high cost of keeping passengers in the designated hotels for 10 days.

Currently, travellers pay £1,750 per person for the stay which includes two PCR Covid tests, transport from the airport to the hotel, and all their meals.

Since the UK launched the scheme in mid-February, around 30,000 travellers have stayed in the Government-approved hotels, according to The Telegraph.

A total of 60 countries are currently under the red category, after Cuba, Indonesia, Myanmar and Sierra Leone were the latest additions following the most recent review this month.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps insisted people ‘should not’ be travelling to red list destinations and the scheme is there only for the ‘most extreme of circumstances’.

He highlighted yesterday that the Government does not make a profit from the scheme – suggesting measures may have to be taken to curb the numbers of passengers using it.

The cost could become more unaffordable for travellers as the price may rise to more than £2,250 (Picture: PA)
Travellers arrive at the Heathrow airport in London, Britain, 08 June 2021.
Currently, 60 countries are on the UK’s red list (Picture: EPA)

Mr Shapps told the Commons: ‘The only people who should be coming back to government quarantine are British or Irish citizens, or people with permanent rights of residence.

‘And there should be a limit to the number of people who are still abroad and wishing to return.

‘I sometimes come across cases where people are still using the red list as if it is a case of “It’s ok, I can come back and hotel quarantine”.

‘That should not be the case.’

CEO of travel consultancy The PC Agency criticised the plans and said the price hike would make it more unaffordable for people.

He told The Telegraph: ‘The number testing positive in hotels is tiny. The principle of quarantine is a relic of earlier days.

‘It would be better for the Government to replace it with testing on arrival.’

Which countries are on the red list?

  • Afghanistan
  • Angola
  • Argentina
  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Bolivia
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • Burundi
  • Cape Verde
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Cuba
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • Eritrea
  • Eswatini
  • Ethiopia
  • French Guiana
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Kenya
  • Lesotho
  • Malawi
  • Maldives
  • Mongolia
  • Mozambique
  • Myanmar
  • Namibia
  • Nepal
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Qatar
  • Rwanda
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sudan
  • Suriname
  • Tanzania
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Uganda
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

When the hotel quarantine scheme launched in February, there were 30 countries on the red list – but that has since doubled to 60.

Last-minute changes to the traffic light travel scheme have caused chaos for travellers this summer, with many forced to scramble to get home to avoid quarantine with just 72 hours notice.

The destination list is updated every three weeks, with the next review expected on August 4.

Ministers’ last review on July 15 saw the popular holiday destinations of the Balearic Islands moved back to the amber list.

However, those who have been double-jabbed and the under-18s are now exempt from self-isolation when they return from amber list destinations.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

For more stories like this, check our news page.

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