Prime minister Boris Johnson has confirmed England’s hotel quarantine policy will be targeted, applying initially to 22 high-risk countries, rather than a blanket measure covering all arrivals.
Arrivals from much of South America and southern Africa, as well as Portugal, will be required to self-isolate at government-arranged hotel accommodation for 10 days upon arrival in England.
They will be met at the airport and transported directly to their quarantine accommodation. Johnson said the Department of Health was working at pace to identify and establish these facilities.
Home secretary Priti Patel is expected to set out the full details of the policy later on Wednesday (27 January), with Johnson offering no proposed start date or time for the measures.
Johnson, though, did confirm the government was in discussions with the UK’s devolved administrations to ensure a UK-wide approach "where possible".
He said the measures were vital to guard against the important of new Covid-19 variants, such as those detected in South Africa and Brazil.
The prime minister added the measures came in addition to temporarily closing all UK travel corridors, requiring all arrivals to test negative for Covid up to 72 hours before departure, and requiring arrivals from all other destinations to self-isolate at home for 10 days.
Addressing the Commons, Johnson reiterated the government would strictly enforce its travel bans, including restrictions on overseas leisure travel and holidays, at airports and other ports of departure.
Johnson said anyone trying to travel for leisure purposes will be sent home.