Sir Keir Starmer calls for all UK arrivals to go into hotel quarantine

10 February 2021, 22:48

Sir Keir Starmer has called for stricter quarantine rules for those arriving into the UK
Sir Keir Starmer has called for stricter quarantine rules for those arriving into the UK. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

The Labour Party is calling for all international arrivals to be put into hotel quarantine amid fears new Covid variants are spreading across the planet.

Analysis has suggested 10,000 UK arrivals each day will be avoiding going into strict quarantine, compared to Government estimations only around 1,000 will be coming through our borders from higher risk nations.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has now called for the requirements in England to match those planned for Scotland, which will require all international arrivals to self-isolate in hotels.

The analysis is based on the number of people travelling from countries where the South African or Brazilian coronavirus variants are circulating but which are not on the Government's red list.

Read more: Quarantine hotels: Tory MPs slam £10k fine and jail threat for hiding 'red list' visits

This includes locations such as France, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands.

Those passengers will not be required to quarantine in hotels under the new system which comes into force on Monday.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said on Wednesday the number of people currently travelling to the UK from red list countries "probably comes to less than 1,000 a day".

Sir Keir also demand that the Government publishes daily data showing how many passengers are entering the UK from different countries.

Read more: Grant Shapps: 'Red list' rule breakers must face tough penalties to save lives

He said: "The Government's failure to secure our borders risks jeopardising the fight against Covid-19.

"All the effort being put into the vaccine rollout across Britain could be undermined by a vaccine-resistant strain entering the country.

"The Government is leaving gaping holes in our defences against Covid variants, with the vast majority of arrivals from Monday set to avoid hotel quarantine.

"The Prime Minister must listen to Labour and ensure all international arrivals are quarantined in hotels and the aviation sector is supported while that happens.

"He should also come clean on the numbers of people arriving from different countries by publishing daily arrivals data."

Anyone trying to get around coronavirus travel quarantine restrictions by concealing such visits faces a prison term of up to a decade, Matt Hancock announced on Tuesday.

The Health Secretary set out a significant strengthening of measures at the UK's borders in the Commons, during which he revealed that people who have to stay in quarantine hotels will also be charged £1,750 for their stay.

The restrictions apply to British and Irish residents arriving in England, Mr Hancock said, with the hotel quarantine programme beginning for 'red list' countries on Monday.