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

Jan. 27, 2021
3 min read
Breaking: UK to require travelers from high-risk countries to quarantine in government-supervised hotels
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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.

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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).

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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 image by 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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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

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  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

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  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023