Hotel quarantine could be dropped after Ireland bins policy

·2-min read
 (PA)
(PA)

Hotel quarantine could be axed in the UK in the wake of Ireland dumping the strict policy.

Travellers faced paying around £2,000 per person for a stay in a government-approved hotel on their return to the UK after flying in from red-list countries.

Countries on the red-list were deemed high risk destinations for holidaymakers amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Now the government face calls for hotel quarantine to be scrapped.

“We can’t forget that we’re still an outlier on arrivals testing and hotel quarantine, and the Irish decision should hopefully embolden ministers to move to home quarantine as quickly as possible for red-list passengers,” said a senior travel industry source told The Telegraph.

“Hotel quarantine was very much a policy of its time but things have moved on.”

The Irish government ruled the end of mandatory hotel quarantine “immediately” on Saturday after chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan offered his latest advice.

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said: “The Mandatory Hotel Quarantine system was introduced as an exceptional public health measure at a time that our country was contending with the very serious risk of importation of variants of concern that had the potential to overwhelm our health service and, in particular, to undermine Ireland’s Covid-19 vaccination programme.”

He added: “The successful operation of [mandatory hotel quarantine] has played a central role in protecting the population, maintaining control of the disease and enabling the safe relaxation of restrictions on our economy and society.”

Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) runs the hotel quarantine policy.

A DHSC spokesman said to the newspaper in a statement: “We are committed to protecting our country and the progress of our phenomenal vaccine rollout against the risk of new coronavirus variants and there are no plans to end the Managed Quarantine Service.

“We have taken decisive action at the border with our managed quarantine system and every essential check we’ve introduced has strengthened our defences.”

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