The UK could soon end the hotel quarantine programme

Sep 27, 2021

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There might be more good news for British travellers: After recent announcements about changes to PCR and pre-departure COVID-19 tests, The Telegraph on Sunday reported that the quarantine programme could be ending soon, too.

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On Saturday, Ireland announced its plan to remove the final six countries from its red list, therefore removing the self-quarantine requirement at mandated hotels altogether. The final 50 travellers still in hotels were freed of their quarantine on Sunday. With this decision in mind, both the Department for Transport as well as the travel industry are putting pressure on the government to act in accordance with this decision.

Since travellers can freely roam between the U.K. and Ireland under the Common Travel Area, Ireland’s decision to scrap the red list provides a loophole for anyone arriving from a red list country, making the measure in the U.K. less effective.

Currently, travellers arriving in the U.K. from a red list country are required to quarantine at a government-mandated hotel at the steep cost of £2,285 for an individual traveller. This measure makes it practically impossible for most people to travel to a red list country for any reason other than highly urgent trips.

Related: Everything you need to know about the UK’s hotel quarantine

If the hotel quarantine mandate is removed, it would become much easier to travel to red list countries again. Countries on the red list include popular destinations such as Brazil, Indonesia and Thailand. Recently, eight destinations — including the popular tourist spots of Egypt, Turkey and the Maldives — were removed from the red list.

With 54 countries currently on the red list, the U.K. maintains the longest list of “banned” destinations, compared with other European nations.

Featured image by Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images

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