UK Government Quarantine Hotel Booking Site Now Live Or £4K Penalty On Arrival

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Last week, the UK Government announced (read more here) that travelers from countries designated RED such as the United Arab Emirates and Brazil would need to quarantine for 10 nights before being allowed to roam in the UK.

The website for booking the quarantine hotel went live earlier today but immediately crashed. You must use a specific booking channel to book and prepay the quarantine hotel for your entire party. If you arrive in the UK without a booking, you face a penalty of £4K in addition to the hotel cost.

You can access the booking portal here and the UK Government website for quarantine information here.

You cannot choose the quarantine hotels or pay more to get a better hotel or room/suite or more upscale amenities. I would expect these quarantine hotels to be hotels such as Holiday Inn, ibis, Courtyard, etc. lower quality close to select-service hotels.

You can only arrive at the following airports if quarantine is required:

  • Heathrow Airport
  • Gatwick Airport
  • London City Airport
  • Birmingham Airport
  • Farnborough Airfield

The price of quarantine:


Rate
Rate for 1 adult in 1 room for 10 days (11 nights) £1750
Additional rate for 1 adult (or child over 12) £650
Additional rate for a child aged 5–12 £325

Price for one:

The price includes:

  • Managed Quarantine Hotel Package
  • includes accommodation
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Evening Meal and hot and cold drinks.
  • 2 Covid tests
  • transfer from the port of arrival to and from the hotel at the end of your quarantine

Booking Form:

Quarantine Hotels

There is no indication of what hotels are used at Heathrow, but the booking form confirms that one is the Holiday Inn London Heathrow.

I did play around with the booking form and received a rejection that unveiled at least one of the hotels used.

Holiday Inn London – Heathrow M4, Jct. 4 (access here)

The hotel is not available for bookings on IHG’s website.

Photos from the IHG about this quarantine Holiday Inn hotel:

Here’s the most current information from the UK Government regarding the hotel quarantine (access the website here):

This guidance is for people arriving in England who have visited or passed through a country where travel to the UK is banned (sometimes called the ‘red list’) in the 10 days before their arrival.

You should follow separate guidance if you’re travelling from a country that is not on the list where travel to the UK is banned.

You cannot travel to the UK if you’ve visited or passed through a country where travel to the UK is banned in the last 10 days, unless you’re:

  • a British national
  • an Irish national
  • anyone with residence rights in the UK

From 15 February onwards, everyone allowed to enter England who has visited or passed through a country where travel to the UK is banned in the last 10 days must:

  • quarantine for 10 days in a managed quarantine hotel
  • take a coronavirus (COVID-19) test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8 of quarantining
  • follow the national lockdown rules

Providing false or deliberately misleading information when filling out your passenger locator form is an offence punishable by imprisonment. You could be fined up to £10,000, imprisoned for up to 10 years, or both, if you do not provide accurate details about the countries you have visited in the 10 days before you arrived in the UK.

If you break the quarantine rules you may face a penalty of up to £10,000.

You should follow separate advice if you arrive in:

  • Scotland
  • Wales
  • Northern Ireland

Hotel quarantine: what it is

Everyone who arrives into England must quarantine for 10 days from the point of their arrival. The day of arrival in England will be treated as day zero.

To stop the spread of potentially harmful variants into the UK, more stringent measures are in place for people who have travelled from or passed through a country on the list where travel to the UK is banned (the ‘red list’) in the last 10 days before arrival.

From 15 February, you must quarantine in a managed quarantine hotel if you’ve travelled from or passed through a country on the list where travel to the UK is banned.

Who has to go into hotel quarantine

If you are a British or Irish national, or third country national with residence rights in the UK and you have been in or passed through a red-list country in the 10 days before your arrival, you will need to quarantine in a managed quarantine hotel, unless you’re exempt.

Travellers from countries not on the ‘red list’ must follow the guidance set out here.

What you need to do before you arrive in England

Before you travel you must:

  • take a coronavirus (COVID-19) test and get a negative result during the 3 days before you travel. You must take the test in the 3 days before the service on which you will arrive in England departs. For example, if you travel directly to England on Friday, you must take the test on the Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday
  • book a managed quarantine hotel where you will quarantine. Your quarantine package will include your managed quarantine hotel, quarantine transport and your travel test package for COVID-19 tests on day 2 and day 8 of quarantine
  • complete a passenger locator form with details of where you will quarantine when you arrive. You must provide a quarantine package booking reference number to complete your passenger locator form

The current list of Red Countries (access the most current list here):

  • Angola
  • Argentina
  • Bolivia
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • Burundi
  • Cape Verde
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • The Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Ecuador
  • Eswatini
  • French Guiana
  • Guyana
  • Lesotho
  • Malawi
  • Mauritius
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Portugal (including Madeira and the Azores)
  • Rwanda
  • Seychelles
  • South Africa
  • Suriname
  • Tanzania
  • United Arab Emirates (UAE)
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

Conclusion

It is pretty tough to be in a room for ten nights without allowed to leave at all, such as having a walk outside or exercise.

If someone arrives in the UK from one of the RED countries, they should spend the previous 10 nights at one of the non-RED countries and then quarantine at their home or another address for 10 nights rather than pay close 2K GBP for a crappy Heathrow hotel.

I would assume that these hotels are not eligible for hotel loyalty program points or elite qualifying nights/stays because they are booked through a third-party contractor CTM that must be collecting the usual travel agent commission of 10% or more.

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