Now Sturgeon demands England enforces Scotland's blanket hotel quarantine by stopping travellers from low-risk nationsFebruary 10, 2021
NICOLA Sturgeon is demanding that England helps enforce her blanket hotel quarantine requirement for all international travellers.
The Scottish First Minister said anyone arriving in England from abroad should have to complete their hotel quarantine before heading north of the border.
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Her demands come amid a schism between Westminster and Holyrood on how strict entry requirements to keep out new Coronavirus strains should be.
Yesterday the Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced all arrivals from the 33 most high risk countries will have to stay in a hotel for 10 days at a personal cost of £1,750.
Scotland is using the same system, but is applying it to travellers from anywhere in the world.
And it is demanding that England enforces that wider reach to stop people from lower risk nations dodging the rules altogether.
Scots Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said: "Passengers entering England from the red-list countries who then seek to travel onto Scotland will have to isolate in a hotel in England. Last week, that was 130 people.
"We continue to press the UK Government to adopt what we believe is a more comprehensive approach, and require all arrivals to go into a quarantine hotel.
"We ask the UK Government to work with us to identify international travellers not caught by this approach so that arrangements can be made for them to isolate in a quarantine hotel, in line with the policy in Scotland."
It is not clear how the plan, which would effectively force Scotland's policy on England, could be policed in practice.
The move came after Mr Hancock announced Brits will be slapped with a fine of up to £10,000 if they escape hotel quarantine before their isolation period is up – and face jail if they lie about their holiday destination.
He made the stern announcement yesterday to ensure international arrivals stick to the rules as the Government attempts to prevent mutant strains of Covid entering the UK.
The Health Secretary also warned that passengers arriving from 'red list' countries will be forced to stay in the hotels for LONGER than 10 days – if they test positive.
All travellers entering the UK will have to take two coronavirus tests while self-isolating, it's been confirmed.
And the entire process – including the two mandatory tests and a quarantine hotel room- will cost arrivals £1,750 each.
People must get a test on day two and day eight of their 10-day quarantine period.
If passengers leave the quarantine hotel before their 10 days are up, they will be handed a £5,000 coronavirus fine.
But this figure can increase up to £10,000, Mr Hancock warned.
And if the PCR tests come out positive, travellers will be forced to stay in the quarantine hotel until they are proven to no longer be infectious.
Mr Hancock said: "If either of these post arrival tests comes back positive, they'll have to quarantine for a further 10 days from the date of the test.
"And they will of course be offered any NHS treatment that's necessary.
"Any positive result will automatically undergo genomic sequencing to confirm whether they have a variant of concern."
The Health Secretary said the new measures are being enforced so we can "protect the progress that we've worked together so hard to accomplish."
Brits also face up to 10 years in jail if they refuse to tell authorities where they have been travelling – and are later found to have visited 'red-list' countries.
Passengers who dupe border authorities when coming back from Covid “red" countries like South Africa, Brazil or Dubai will be treated as criminals and have the book thrown at them.
Mr Hancock said: "Anyone who lies on the passenger locator form and tries to conceal that they've been in a country on the red list in the 10 days before arrival here will face a prison sentence of up to 10 years."
And there will also be fines for people who fail to take the Covid tests on both occasions during their isolation period.
There will be a £1,000 penalty for failing to take the first coronavirus test, and a £2,000 fine for failing to take the second.
It came as..
- Scotland said they would put ALL international arrivals in a ten day quarantine – not just those from hotspots
- Holidaymakers returning to Britain who lie about where they have been risk TEN years in jail
- Quarantine hotels will open on Monday, with a 10-day stay costing travellers £1,750 each.
- There will be £2,000 fines for international arrivals who refuse to take tests.
- Hotel quarantine farce as only 16 hotels with just 5,600 rooms sign up – despite 1400 passengers coming in per day
- All travellers entering the UK to take three Covid tests to stop new variants
The tough rules come into force on Monday, February 15 – as the country toughens up its borders amid fears over vaccine-busting mutations of the virus.
People arriving from 'red list' countries will have to spend a week and a half isolating under guard in hotels.
But even those coming in from other locations that are not on the "red-list" will now be tested twice during their mandatory 10-day isolation at home.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: "Throughout the pandemic, the Government has put in place proportionate measures, informed by the advice of scientists, that have led to some of the toughest border regimes in the world.
"Enhancing our testing regime to cover all arrivals while they isolate will provide a further level of protection and enable us to better track any new cases which might be brought into the country, and give us even more opportunities to detect new variants."
COVID HOTEL FINE
Professor David Heymann, of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said that testing people on arrival was "effective" as it isolated cases and reduced transmission.
Paul Charles, from travel consultancy PC Agency, praised the new testing measures, explaining that testing is the "way out of the pandemic" along with vaccines.
However, he also said on BBC's Today programme: "If passengers are asked to a pay for three tests – because you have to take a test before you depart for the UK – that will obviously kill off travel.
"What is important is for government to be paying for these extra two tests, and one of them should be on arrival at port of entry to the UK, at the airport or the ferry terminal."
More than 200,000 passengers from the 'red list' countries are set to enter the UK before rules forcing them to quarantine in hotels on arrival come into force.
Passenger data shows around 205,000 are expected to enter the country from the 33 countries in the next week.
And fears have mounted after a traveller, flying from Johannesburg in South Africa, walked through Heathrow with NO checks.
Sharon Feinstein, from Islington, North London, claims she went through the terminal yesterday with no questions asked, despite flying from Johannesburg – where the mutant Covid strain is rife.
Despite having documents to prove she had a negative test, there was no one to show it to, Ms Feinstein claims.
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