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The UK Government has announced that some people travelling into England will have to spend time at 'quarantine hotels' in response to the concerns about new Covid variants.
Announcing the news in the House of Commons today (27 January), Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "We've already temporarily closed all travel corridors and we're already requiring anyone coming into this country to have proof of a negative Covid test taken in the 72 hours before leaving, they must also complete a passenger locator form which must be checked before they board and then quarantine on arrival for ten days.
"I want to make clear under the stay at home regulations it is illegal to leave home to travel abroad for leisure purposes and we will enforce this at ports and airports by asking people why they are leaving and instructing them to return home to if they do not have a valid reason.
"We have also banned all travel from 22 countries where there is known variants, including South Africa, Portugal and South American nations, and in order to reduce the risk posed by UK nationals and residents returning home from these countries, I can announce we will require all such arrivals, who cannot be refused entry, to isolate in government-provided accommodation, such as hotels, for 10 days without exception.
"They will be met at the airport and transported directly into quarantine."
The new rules means, people travelling in from 'high risk' countries will need to isolate in a hotel for 10 days after arriving.
The rules will apply to 22 countries which are considered 'high risk' as they are known to have new variants, these include South American nations, Portugal and South Africa.
There's already a ban in place for foreign nationals from high risk countries, so these new rules will mainly affect residents of the UK who are returning from abroad.
Hotel quarantine is already used in several countries including New Zealand and Australia.
At the moment people who arrive in the UK must quarantine at home and most must provide a negative coronavirus test within the 72 hours before they set off.
In England, it's possible to cut the self-isolation period shorter, if a second negative test is given five days after arriving.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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