Breaking: UK to require travelers from high-risk countries to quarantine in government-supervised hotels

Jan 27, 2021

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

The United Kingdom will now require arriving travelers from high-risk countries to undergo their mandatory 10-day quarantine in a government-supervised hotel.

All arrivals coming from high-risk destinations — including U.K. citizens — will be required to undergo their 10-day quarantine in a hotel. The cost of the hotel stay will fall on the arriving passenger. The United States is not considered “high-risk.” Much of South America, South Africa and Portugal are among the regions that must quarantine.

Sign up to receive the daily TPG newsletter for more travel news!

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the new measure on Wednesday.

The U.K. has already banned non-nationals and non-residents from 30 high-risk destinations from entering the country. As such, the hotel quarantine applies to those who cannot be denied entry.

Johnson’s announcement detailed the hotel quarantine applies to those coming from 22 countries. At this time, it’s unclear which 22 countries of the 30 countries on the travel ban list the new requirements apply to.

It’s worth noting that the hotel quarantine measures do not apply to all travelers arriving from international destinations.

Johnson said that travelers will be met at the airport and transported to their quarantine. The government is working to establish the facilities. Additionally, the government is “working closely” with the administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to align on the same policies.

Home Secretary Priti Patel is expected to set out more details in her address at 2:30 p.m. GMT (9:30 a.m. ET).

By requiring passengers to undergo their quarantine at a government-supervised hotel, authorities are hoping to cut down on the possibility of travelers not following the rules. The hotel scheme will allow the government to supervise those in isolation.

“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.

The new restrictions in the U.K. are in line with those that have been in place in countries like Australia and much of Asia since March 2020. Arriving passengers have long had to quarantine for 14 days in government-supervised hotel rooms, which has helped to drop the rates of infection in those countries to some of the lowest in the world.

The U.K. already requires that all arriving travelers have a negative COVID-19 test, taken no more than 72 hours prior to scheduled departure. Additionally, all arriving passengers must self-quarantine for 10 days, following the suspension of the U.K.’s travel corridors scheme.

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

Passengers in England can utilize the Test to Release scheme in order to reduce the amount of time spent in quarantine. After five days of quarantine, a passenger can purchase and take a COVID-19 test. If the result comes back negative, the traveler can forgo the rest of their quarantine.

However, those coming from travel ban countries cannot use the Test to Release scheme.

Featured photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images.



Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
17.24%-26.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.