No hotel quarantine contracts have yet been signed with only a week to go before implementation, the government has admitted - according to reports.
Britons returning from 33 red-list countries from 15 February must isolate at their own expense for 10 days.
Boris Johnson’s official spokesman told journalists on Monday lunchtime: "The Department of Health issued a commercial specification to hotels near ports and airports, the Mirror reports.
"This asked for proposals on how they could deliver managed quarantine facilities.
"No formal contracts have been awarded yet."
The Telegraph said the initial £55 million cost would be paid by the government, which would then seek to reclaim costs.