The government is to subsidise or waive the £1,750 red list quarantine costs in some cases following a legal challenge.
Law firm PGMBM had asked for a judicial review of the red list scheme, whereby anyone entering the UK from a red list country has to spend 10 days in quarantine in an approved hotel at their own expense.
The government has now agreed to allow people to apply for a fee waiver or reduction on grounds of financial hardship after backing down days before a court hearing was due. The ruling may benefit those, who, for example, are entering the UK to attend a funeral.
The decision represents “an embarrassing climbdown” for the government, according to The Times, as ministers had previously refused to waive fees.
Under the scheme, the first adult pays £1,750, an additional adult in the room £650 and children another £325. Until now, those pleading financial hardship were offered payment in 12 monthly instalments.
PGMBM, which specialises in group actions, has also asked the government to review costs for those who have already paid. PGMBM told the newspaper the policy had been introduced without thought to how it would penalise “vulnerable citizens and residents”.