April 22, 2024

Hotel quarantine booking portal fails on first day

The online booking system set up for passengers required to go into hotel quarantine after arriving into England from ‘red list’ countries has failed on its first day of operation.

A notice on the Government’s guidance page says the link to the booking portal is currently not available due to a ‘minor technical issue’.

It tells users to return to the page later if they wish to make a booking.

According to new rules confirmed earlier this week, arrivals from 33 ‘red list’ destinations, which include countries in South America, large parts of southern Africa, Portugal and the UAE, must book a quarantine package, which costs £1,750 for an individual and includes the hotel, transport and testing.

On arrival passengers will be escorted to a designated hotel for 10 days or for longer if they test positive for Covid-19 during their stay.

The Government has contracted 16 hotels, for an initial 4,600 rooms, and will secure more as required.

Travellers will need to remain in their rooms, will not be allowed to mix with other guests, and there will be visible security in place to ensure compliance.

Airlines and travel companies will be legally required to make sure travellers have signed up for the new measures before they depart. 

There will be hefty fines for both companies and passengers if they fail to comply.

Passengers face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison if they give false travel history information on the mandatory passenger locator form.

Clive Wratten, CEO of the BTA, said the rules would “bring business travel to a standstill, preventing thousands from doing their jobs” and said the industry was now at its “lowest point”.