Airport hotel chain still ‘in the dark’ over new UK quarantine plans
Britain’s biggest airport hotel chain has been “kept in the dark” over how the government’s hotel quarantine policy will work, a week on from its announcement.
Speaking to the BBC this morning, Rob Paterson, chief executive of the Best Western hotel group, said he had yet to receive any details concerning the policy’s implementation.
Sources in the hotel industry confirmed to City A.M. that they were still waiting for a full plan for the scheme.
Under the plan, arrivals from 33 countries deemed high risk will be forced to quarantine in hotels for 10 days.
The move is an attempt to stop new cases of coronavirus variants such as those identified in Brazil and South Africa from entering the UK.
Earlier this week, it was reported that the policy would not be in place until 15 February – nearly three weeks after it was announced.
Paterson said: “I think in any normal company if you went out and announced a programme nationally and you hadn’t thought about how you were going to plan that, and you hadn’t spoken to the people involved . . . I’m not sure I’d have a job if I did that in my company.
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“To this day we simply haven’t heard anything despite multiple offers. We’ve got all these contacts in other countries that have already rolled this out for some time.
“They could offer some really valuable support and we’re just simply kept in the dark.”
Speaking this morning, vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi said that the hotel quarantine policy was just one part of the UK’s border control programme.
He added that an “operational plan” for hotels would be shared next week.
“It is one part of a greater piece. [There is] the passenger locator form — you will be refused by the airlines to get on a flight if you haven’t filled in a passenger locator form — so we know exactly where you are, so we can check where you are and that you are quarantined.
“And you get fined — and I make no apology for the 40,000 fines that we’ve issued already.”