U.K's virus regulations get stricter with new 10-day hotel quarantine requirement

People traveling from high-risk countries will need to pay for their own hotel quarantine for 10 nights upon arrival.

Updated: February 5, 2021 - 1:09pm

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The United Kingdom, which has worst coronavirus outbreak in Europe, will now begin enforcing a 10-day hotel quarantine for people arriving from hotspot countries – an attempt to control the spread of new variants.

The new mandate will force British residents arriving from 33 high-risk countries to quarantine in approved hotels near airports and seaports that are patrolled by security guards.

The majority of the countries on the so-called "red list" are already banned from traveling to the U.K., which include countries in South America, southern Africa, the United Arab Emirates and Portugal. 

Most international travel is already banned, and arriving passengers must test negative upon arrival. Even with many restrictions currently in place, the hotel quarantine that begin Feb.15 is drawing criticism for the delayed implementation.

About 1,000 U.K. residents are expected to arrive and enter quarantine each day when the enforcement begins, and individuals will be served three meals a day in their hotel rooms.

The Labour Party has opposed the strict regulations, and an official said the government is doing "too little, too late." 

Hotels will need to be approved as quarantine sites with special hygiene protocols. However, no formal contracts have been agreed to yet, according to BBC News.

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