Saturday 23 January 2021 8:25 am

Ministers to discuss hotel quarantine for UK arrivals

Travellers returning to the UK could be forced to spend 10 days in quarantine in a hotel under plans being drawn up by the government.

Ministers will meet on Monday to discuss tightening rules at UK borders amid fears about new mutant strains of the virus, according to media reports.

Read more: Airline, hotel and travel shares slump on summer holiday warnings and UK quarantine rumours

The hotels would be staffed by security guards and travellers would be made to foot the bill.

The Home Office has considered two other strategies, including fitting arrivals to the UK with an electronic tag, according to policy documents obtained by the Guardian.

Another option still under consideration is the use of a location tracking app to monitor arrivals with a mandatory requirement that it be downloaded. A similar system is in use in Poland.

Under current rules arrivals to the UK must receive a negative Covid test in the 72 hours before they travel.

All passengers must also quarantine for 10 days, though this can be cut short if they receive a second negative through a private test.

As of this week all travel corridors, which allowed quarantine-free travel to some countries, were shut.

Asked at a Downing Street press conference yesterday whether border rules would be tightened, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “I really don’t rule it out, we may need to take further measures still.

Read more: Saga to require holidaymakers to get Covid-19 vaccine before travel

“We may need to go further to protect our borders. We don’t want to put that at risk by having a new variant come back in.”

The prime minister also warned there was “some evidence” that the new strain of the virus first identified in the UK was more deadly.

Read more: Breaking: UK coronavirus mutation may be more deadly, says PM