UK government details stricter quarantine measures, hotel quarantine pricing

Feb 9, 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.

Arrivals into the United Kingdom will soon have to test twice for coronavirus during their quarantine in order to prevent new variants from entering the country. Additionally, those who will be required to undergo their quarantine in a government-supervised hotel will have to pay £1,750 (about $2,411) to do so.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the Commons on Tuesday that as of Monday, that all quarantining arrivals will have to take a coronavirus test on days two and eight of their mandatory 10-day isolation period. The two-time testing requirement will apply to all travelers, regardless if they’re undergoing their quarantine in a hotel or at home, and travelers will have to book their tests through an online portal before they travel.

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

Additionally, as of Feb. 15 when the hotel quarantine takes effect, travelers will have to pay £1,750 in order to spend their 10 days in a government-supervised self-isolation setting if they’re arriving from a travel ban country. Passengers will be escorted from the airport to the hotel and cannot leave their room.

Related: Hotel quarantine begins 15 February: All 33 countries that are on the UK’s travel ban list

According to Hancock, 4,600 rooms have been procured at 16 hotels across the country. Rooms will have to be booked via an online portal before departure. The portal will go live on Thursday, Feb. 11.

The £1,750 price tag will include room, two tests (on days two and eight) and transfers. There will be a fine of up to £10,000 for those who break the rules.

The fines break down as follows: £1,000 for any international arrival who fails to take a mandatory COVID-19 test; £2,000 for any arrival who fails to take a second test and quarantine will be automatically extended to 14 days; and fines of between £5,000 and £10,000 for failing to quarantine in a designated hotel.

All passengers continue to be required to fill out a passenger locator form prior to traveling to the U.K. Hancock outlined on Tuesday that anyone who has been found to lie on their passenger locator form will face a prison sentence of up to 10 years.

Tuesday’s announcements apply to England, but Hancock said that the government is “working on similarly tough schemes with the devolved administrations.”

The new two-time testing requirements are in addition to the pre-departure testing requirement the U.K. implemented last month. As of Jan. 18, all travelers entering the U.K. from abroad by boat, train or plane are required to have proof of 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

With the new two-time testing in quarantine, all travelers heading to the U.K. will be required to take three COVID-19 tests at minimum — one prior to traveling and two while in quarantine.

If a traveler tests positive in quarantine, they will be required to self-isolate for an additional 10 days from the date when the test was administered.

Interestingly, the traveler who is quarantining at home can still utilize the Test to Release scheme in England, which allows the person to take a test after five days of quarantine. If the test returns a negative result, they will be allowed to forgo the rest of their 10-day quarantine. However, they will still be required to take a test on their eighth day of entering in the country.

Related: Everything we know about the Test to Release scheme

Travelers entering from a travel ban country are not eligible for the Test to Release scheme.

By implementing a testing requirement whilst in quarantine, the Department of Health said that it will be able to better track new variants that are imported.

The move comes amid growing concern that existing vaccines may not be as effective in protecting against new strains of the virus. Early trials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine suggest it may only offer “minimal protection” against the variant of the virus that was first detected in South Africa.

Hancock declined to state when these measures may be lifted.

Featured photo by Hollie Adams/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.