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Covid UK: Travellers who lie on passenger locator forms face 10 years in prison

Passengers face fines of up to £10,000 for failing to quarantine and those who lie on their passenger locator forms face up to 10 years in jail.

Updated Feb 9th 2021, 6:17 PM

ARRIVING TRAVELLERS PUT in quarantine hotels in England will be charged £1,750 (€1,993) for their stay, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced.

The Cabinet minister told the Commons that 16 hotels have been contracted for the hotel quarantine programme which begins on Monday.

UK nationals or residents returning from 33 “red list” countries will be required to spend 10 days in a Government-designated hotel.

Anyone who attempts to conceal that they have been in one of those destinations in the 10 days before arrival faces a prison sentence of up to 10 years, Mr Hancock said.

He also confirmed the new “enhanced testing” regime for all international travellers, with two tests required during the quarantine process from Monday.

Hancock told the Commons: “People who flout these rules are putting us all at risk.

“Passenger carriers will have a duty in law to make sure that passengers have signed up for these new arrangements before they travel, and will be fined if they don’t, and we will be putting in place tough fines for people who don’t comply.

“This includes a £1,000 penalty for any international arrival who fails to take a mandatory test, a £2,000 penalty for any international arrival who fails to take the second mandatory test, as well as automatically extending their quarantine period to 14 days, and a £5,000 fixed penalty notice – rising to £10,000 – for arrivals who fail to quarantine in a designated hotel.”

Passengers required to stay in a quarantine hotel will need to reserve a room online in advance.

Hancock said the booking system opens on Thursday.

The £1,750 fee for an individual includes the hotel, transfer and testing.

These travellers will only be allowed to enter the UK through a “small number of ports that currently account for the vast majority of passenger arrivals”, Hancock added.

Meanwhile, the Scottish Transport Secretary said that border measures would play an “important role in suppressing new cases” of Covid-19 in Scotland.

Michael Matheson said the Scottish Government was clear that policy in this area “must be guided by expert clinical advice”.

And he said: “That advice is clear – we need a comprehensive approach to restricting international travel.”

Matheson said it was “very hard to say with confidence where the high-risk countries are”, saying this was why the Scottish Government wanted a “comprehensive approach to managed isolation”.

And he stated: “From Monday we will require all international travellers arriving directly on flights into Scotland to enter managed isolation.”

He said this went further than the measures announced by Hancock, where this approach will only be used for travellers arriving from “red list countries”.

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But Matheson said: “We know that is not sufficient and we have therefore gone further.”

Matheson went on to tell MSPs at Holyrood that the four nations of the UK had agreed a joint approach to contracting the transport and accommodation services for managed isolation.

This, he said, would see a common approach adopted to procuring hotels, based on a UK Government contract – but he said this would have “flexibility” to cope with the “different policy directions we are taking”.

Passengers flying into Scotland from overseas will be required to book and pay for “mandatory isolation in a quarantine hotel,” through a common online portal operated by the UK Government, the Transport Secretary said.

Six hotels in Scotland have been identified for this, close to Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh airports – with a combined capacity of 1,300 rooms.

The cost to the first traveller in a room will be £1,750, with further supplements for additional family members.

These costs will include mandatory Covid-19 testing, which will see all people tested twice, on day two after their arrival and then again on day eight.

A special managed isolation welfare fund will be developed for those travellers who “may struggle to meet the charges”, Matheson said.

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