Quarantined hotel booking site finally launched after being deleted
The government’s new quarantine hotel reservation platform has FINALLY opened – after being forced to be taken down just minutes after launch.
The new website was revealed yesterday, but with no hotels available for the first two days, despite going into effect from Monday.
The new rules are in place from February 15th but the platform was only available on February 17th.
Fortunately, it is now working and customers can book hotels from Monday to online portal here.
Here’s everything you need to know about booking hotels through the new website.
Who should book in quarantine hotels and how much do they cost?
Travelers coming to England from 33 high-risk countries will currently need to book in quarantine hotels, including Portugal, the United Arab Emirates, countries in South America and South Africa – here is the full list.
From Monday, anyone arriving will have to quarantine themselves for 10 days in one of the 16 hotels chosen by the government.
The cost of a stay is Â£ 1,750, however, a second person sharing a room will pay Â£ 650, making a total of Â£ 2,400 for two.
The price for children will be Â£ 325.
What does the price of the quarantine hotel include?
The bill of Â£ 1,750 includes “accommodation, breakfast, lunch, evening meals and hot and cold drinks, two Covid tests and transfer from the port of arrival to and from the hotel to the end of quarantine “.
Guests will not be able to choose their rooms, but families will be able to quarantine each other or in adjoining rooms.
The website explains: “You will need to agree to pay for and book a quarantine package before you complete your Passenger Tracking Form (PLF) and embark on your return trip to the UK.
“The package includes the cost of transportation from the port of arrival to the designated hotel, food, accommodation, security, other essential services and testing.”
What if I can’t afford the quarantined hotel rooms?
The government warns that anyone who did not organize the hotel before arriving in England will pay a fine of Â£ 4,000 and still have to pay the hotel package on arrival.
Travelers who break the rules and leave quarantine prematurely face fines of up to Â£ 10,000.
Passengers who cannot afford it will be able to defer their payments for 12 months.
The website explains, âFor those who are facing significant financial difficulties as a result of these charges, it will be possible to request a deferred repayment plan when booking.
“This is only available to people who are already receiving income-related benefits, and you will have to pay off your debt to the government in 12 monthly installments.”
Are there other travel restrictions in place?
The new measures join the new Covid rest rules which require three tests of all arrivals, starting from Monday.
Additional coronavirus tests for anyone returning from a country not on the high-risk list must also be booked through the new portal.
Costing Â£ 210 for both, travelers must undergo testing on the second and eighth day of the mandatory 10-day home quarantine.
Anyone who fails to do so will be fined up to Â£ 2,000.
Britons are currently not allowed to go on holiday abroad, due to the UK lockdown, so the new rules will primarily affect returning travelers for work or health reasons.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has warned the holiday abroad may not take place at all this year, or until the whole of the UK has been vaccinated.
Speaking on Sky News, he explained: âThe truth is we just don’t know how the virus will react to both vaccines and of course how people will react.
“I’m afraid I can’t give you a definite idea whether or not there will be an opportunity to take a vacation this next year, at home or abroad.”
Speaking on BBC Breakfast, Mr Shapps said traveling abroad would depend on ‘everyone getting vaccinated’ in the UK – and potentially overseas.
When asked if the travel restrictions would stay in place until everyone had been vaccinated, he replied: “Yes”.