• The quarantine package will cost $2,400 per person and includes accomodation in a government-designated hotel
  • The new rules will come into effect on Feb. 15
  • The government also announced fines for those who don't comply


Stepping up efforts to stem the spread of COVID-19, the U.K. announced new measures on Tuesday for those arriving in the country and penalties for anyone flouting quarantine rules. People who hide their travel history and are found to have lied about a recent visit to a country on the British government’s “red list” face up to 10 years in prison.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said residents of the U.K. and Ireland who arrive in England from a country on the government’s travel ban list will have to pay for a “quarantine package” costing 1,750 pounds ($2,400) per person. It includes accommodations in government-designated hotels, virus testing and other items.

“Anyone attempting to conceal that they had been in one of the ‘red list’ destinations in the 10 days before arrival would face a prison sentence of up to 10 years,” The Guardian quoted Hancock as saying.

There are 33 countries on the government’s “red list,” including Brazil, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates. The earlier rules mandated self-isolation for 10 days on arrival for British and Irish nationals, and third country nationals with residence rights in the U.K. The government denied entry to all other individuals who had been to these countries in the last 10 days.

The new rules, which come into effect Feb. 15, are an attempt at preventing new strains from entering the country. All those arriving beginning Feb. 15 will have to get PCR tests on days two and eight of their quarantine upon arrival. If they test positive, they will have to quarantine for another 10 days.

These rules are in addition to the requirement of providing a negative COVID test before travel to the U.K.

The government has also announced fines for those who don’t comply with these measures. Hancock said a fine of up to 10,000 pounds ($13,800) will be imposed on those who fail to quarantine in a designated hotel.

The announcement comes as Britain recorded a drop in the number of new daily COVID-19 cases on Tuesday. A total of 12,364 people tested positive for the virus, down from 14,104 on Monday, according to Reuters. The country has also begun its vaccination campaign and 12.6 million people had received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine up to Monday, government said.

British Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned the country was at a 'tipping point' as virus infections spike
British Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned the country was at a 'tipping point' as virus infections spike PRU / STRINGER