Home Secretary Priti Patel will take further steps on Wednesday for the Commons to ensure “fewer people” flock to England to fight new strains of coronavirus, Robert Jenrick confirmed.
He told Sky News: “The Prime Minister has said we want to go further and the Home Secretary will make a statement later today in Parliament about further steps we will take in this country to ensure that fewer individuals flock to the country. “
Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth has criticized the government for failing to take tough measures at the borders early enough.
Speaking of the BBC breakfast, Ashworth said, “We should have carried out extensive border controls last year
“Priti Patel and Boris Johnson tell us they want to take control of their borders, but when it really mattered and they had to take control of our borders to protect us, they failed.
“I would urge the government to look into comprehensive policies, not just the hotspots, because remember that there will be areas or countries around the world that have mutations that have not yet been identified because they are do not have the same level of scientific skills. “
The government will announce the outcome of the ministerial discussions on stricter border measures to protect the country from the spread of new coronavirus variants.
It has been widely reported that this could include the introduction of quarantine hotels where travelers coming to England are required to self-isolate for a period of time.
What are the rules
At the meeting of the government’s Covid-O Committee on Tuesday, various quarantine options are said to have been on the table.
Whitehall sources suggested that ministers could opt for a more limited system for England, which could appeal to passengers arriving from high-risk coronavirus hotspots.
The BBC reported that arrivals from most of southern Africa and South America, as well as Portugal – due to many flights from Brazil via the capital Lisbon – must be isolated in a hotel for 10 days.
Why are further border measures being discussed?
Hotel quarantine has been proposed to ensure people follow self-isolation rules for international travel and protect themselves from new variants of the coronavirus entering the country.
With significant pressure on the NHS, there are concerns about the risks posed by strains identified in South Africa and Brazil.
What are the current rules for arrivals in the UK?
Direct flights from South Africa, Brazil and Portugal to the UK have already been suspended, but UK residents have been allowed to return indirectly and then self-isolate at home.
In a broader sense, anyone entering the country from abroad, including UK nationals returning home, must demonstrate a negative Covid-19 test result recorded up to three days prior to departure.
Travelers are required to self-isolate for 10 days upon arrival, even if they tested negative.
An exception to self-isolation applies to people traveling to England from Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.
In England, travelers may be able to end self-isolation early if they pay for a private coronavirus test.
Where are people quarantined?
Travelers are expected to be accommodated in hotel accommodations, however details of which companies and locations could be used are not known.
The hotel chain Best Western Great Britain said it was waiting for a “green light” from the government to ensure “safe, well-maintained Covid isolation for travelers who need hotel quarantine”.
Hotel manager Andrew Denton said he was ready to “step in” and help as the company had spent nine months implementing safe policies and procedures for employees and guests.
Do travelers have to pay for their quarantine accommodation?
Yes it seems
According to reports, arrivals in England would have to cover the price of quarantine in hotels for 10 days, which could cost them more than £ 1,000.
When could hotel quarantine begin?
This depends on how quickly the logistics can be handled for potentially thousands of arrivals.
The policy can reportedly take up to three weeks to implement as many hotels are closed due to the low number of travelers.
Rob Paterson, executive director of Best Western Great Britain, said it could be mobilized “within 24 to 48 hours” for a currently open hotel and “a little longer” for a closed hotel.
How long would new quarantine rules apply?
This is not yet known.
Conservative former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said measures should be about “buying us enough time,” adding, “We don’t know in which countries these variants occur.”
He said the country needs to be “cautious” as the coronavirus vaccines are introduced, but he hoped further measures would only be in place for a “temporary period”.
Will the similar rules apply to Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales?
Ministers in Northern Ireland were due to discuss quarantine at an executive meeting in Stormont on Tuesday.
In Scotland, Deputy First Minister John Swinney said the Scottish government would “go at least as far as England” to improve quarantine measures.
There is currently no direct route for international travelers to Wales, but a spokesman for the Welsh government said he expected to discuss the plans in greater detail with the UK government.
What did the aviation industry say?
Aviation industry leaders have warned of the “catastrophic” effects of stricter border measures, arguing that they could endanger “tens of thousands” of jobs and businesses that depend on aviation.
Have other countries used hotel quarantines?
Yes. Australia was one of the first countries to introduce mandatory hotel quarantine in March, while the practice was also introduced in China, New Zealand, India, Singapore, the Philippines, Taiwan, Qatar and Thailand.
Sarah Nickson, a senior researcher, wrote on the Institute for Government website last week that Australia’s two-week hotel quarantine rule on arrivals and border closings for non-nationals “undoubtedly helped limit the number of cases and deaths” Covid-19 has seen 900 deaths with Attributed to 28,000 confirmed cases.
New Zealand was also celebrated for its tough reaction at the border during the coronavirus pandemic. In 2,290 cases, only 25 Covid-19-related deaths have been recorded.