Covid hotel quarantine to start on 15 February
|bbc.com 04 Feb 2021 at 14:57|
Labour had criticised ministers for failing to introduce the scheme, more than a month after the South African coronavirus variant was detected.
The government is expected to lay out full details of the quarantine soon.
Kate Nicholls, chief executive of the industry body UK Hospitality, said bosses and staff were ready to provide assistance "as and when hotels will be needed".
A further 915 people have died within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test in the UK, according to the government s daily figures.
This brings the total number of people to die within 28 days of a positive Covid-19 test to 110,250.
Earlier, Labour s shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds accused the government of having "lurched from one crisis to another" in the absence of a "clear strategy" on Covid-19 border security.
"The UK is in a race against time to secure our borders against emerging strains of the virus, yet not only are there no hotel quarantine arrangements in place, the plans for how they will work have not even been announced," he said in a letter to Home Secretary Priti Patel.
But a Conservative Party spokesperson said the government had taken "firm action" including requiring everyone arriving in the UK to isolate.
Hotel quarantine is already in place in countries including New Zealand and Australia.
Most foreign nationals from high-risk countries already face UK travel bans.
These include people from South African and Brazil, where new variants of the virus were recently discovered, as well as a number of countries near them.
And, in January, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said UK nationals and residents returning to the country from - including several South American and African countries - would have to remain in hotels for 10 days.
But, on Thursday morning, hotel industry leaders told the BBC they had yet to hear details of the government s plans.
Labour has called on the government to extend hotel quarantining to those returning to the UK from all countries, not just the areas on the "red list".
But the Conservatives described the plan as "implausible", arguing it would mean putting around 20,000 people in hotels every day.