Arrivals from 33 high-risk countries will have to serve 10 days mandatory self-isolation at government-appointed accommodation, starting 15 February.
The protracted roll-out of the government’s hotel quarantine policy will see the measures introduced in just under a fortnight’s time, more than a month after the idea was first publicly floated.
According to the BBC, the government is block-booking thousands of hotel rooms in anticipation of at least 1,000 daily arrivals who will be required to quarantine.
The rules will apply to UK residents and Irish nationals returning from much of South America and southern Africa, as well as Portugal, to guard against the import of new strains of Covid-19 that could impact the UK’s vaccination programme.
Non-UK residents are already banned from travelling to the UK from these countries and/or territories.
Arrivals will be met at the airport and transported directly to a hotel quarantine facility, and will have to pay for their stay. It is not clear at this stage whether the cost will be subsidised by government.
Documents relating to the policy, seen by the BBC, state guests will be provided three meals a day in their rooms, and will have access to tea, coffee, fruit and water. They will be allowed access to outdoor space if they need it, albeit in the company of security.
It is understood there will be designated hotel quarantine facilities near a number of major airports, notably Heathrow, Gatwick, London City, Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen.