The British papers are speculating, based I am sure on leaks from different sides of the Government that the decision on mandatory hotel curfews will be made tomorrow. But the shape of them looks to be a point of contention between the ‘doves’ and the ‘hawks’ in the UK Government.
It appears that the options are:
- All Arrivals – UK and non-UK residents – are quarantined at their expense at Government selected hotels enforced by staff based at the hotels. This apparently amounts to 10,000 per day and I suspect hotel rooms at Heathrow will run out pretty fast.
- Some Arrivals – from areas where COVID variants are rampant – Brazil and South Africa – would be quarantined only. There is a suggestion that neighbouring countries of these might also be subject to the mandatory quarantines. Apparently the UK has 77 people with the SA variant and 9 with the Brazilian.
So let’s keep our eyes peeled for the announcement due tomorrow.
In the meantime reports continue of 1-2 hour queues at UK Border over the past few days as officials (often down to 3 or 4 officers) check COVID certificates as well as immigration status. The e-gates appear to be off most of the time. The complexity of checking multiple documents, no priority for UK nationals and no standard format for the certificate appears to be the source. Plus, of course, insufficient officers due to a number being furloughed when terminals 3 and 4 closed. Doh!
The Netherlands banned all ferry, train and air travel from the UK overnight. This appears to be a temporary measure whilst the Dutch Government gets legislation through its parliament to mandate quarantine.
This ban may be extended by the EU to all EU countries. Portugal took these measures last week.