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UK mandatory hotel quarantine to start Feb. 15

Feb. 05, 2021
3 min read
UK mandatory hotel quarantine to start Feb. 15
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The United Kingdom announced late Thursday night, Feb. 4, that its mandatory hotel quarantine requirement will begin Feb. 15.

The news was first reported by the BBC, which says U.K. residents returning from COVID-19 hotspots will need to spend 10 nights in a hotel room. The government is asking hotel owners to provide rooms for more than 1,000 people per day. Just hours after the start date of the scheme was announced, the government has already set about block-booking thousands of hotel rooms.

The BBC, citing government documents, also reports guests will be escorted by government-approved security guards when they leave their rooms.

The measure applies to those returning from so-called red-list countries. Only British and Irish nationals, as well as third-country nationals who have residency rights in the U.K. who are coming from these banned countries are permitted to enter the U.K. and will be required to undergo their quarantine in a hotel as of Feb. 15. The cost of the hotel stay will fall on the arriving passenger and there will be no exemptions.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the new measure back in January, but details were not released at the time.

Related: All of the countries on the UK’s high-risk list

The U.K. has already banned non-nationals and non-residents from 33 high-risk destinations from entering the country. The hotel quarantine applies to those who cannot be denied entry. The countries on the banned list are those in which the spread of new COVID-19 variants is a cause for concern.

Americans are not on the banned list at this time even though cases are still rising there.

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

Quarantine hotels will be near airports including Heathrow, Gatwick, London City, Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen.

Johnson said previously that travelers will be met at the airport and transported to their quarantine. It is expected that all the selected hotels will be for quarantine guests only. Once inside the hotels, security guards will patrol the corridors to “prevent unauthorized access,” reports the BBC.

Any quarantine guest who needs to go outside for air or to smoke will also be escorted by security guards.

Three meals a day will be served, with both hot and cold options on offer. In addition, tea, coffee, water and fruit will be made available.

TPG previously reported that “the government is working closely with the administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to align on the same policies”.

“We have to realize there is at least the theoretical risk of a new variant that is a vaccine-busting variant coming in, we’ve got to be able to keep that under control,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said previously.

Shadow Home Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds had called for a blanket hotel quarantine requirement for all arriving passengers, not just those coming from high-risk countries. Labour is calling the new rules “too little, too late.”

The U.K. requires all arrivals to have a negative COVID-19 test, taken no more than 72 hours prior to scheduled departure.

Related: Pre-departure testing and self-isolation for arrivals: Everything you need to know about traveling to the UK

Featured image by A British Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner airplane is seen flying over a hotel at Heathrow Airport in west London on January 26, 2021. - The British government is being urged to beef up its borders policy as several countries around the world tighten travel rules over fears of new strains of the novel coronavirus. Ministers have for weeks been mulling whether to require all incoming travellers to isolate in hotels, and a decision is expected within days. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
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  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
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Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
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  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more