United Kingdom

Boris Johnson will 'force travellers from high-risk Covid countries to quarantine in hotels'

Boris Johnson is set to compel visitors from high-risk Covid countries to quarantine for ten days, The Mail on Sunday understands.

Sources said the Prime Minister favoured a more targeted approach rather than making all air passengers quarantine.

Travellers from Brazil and South Africa, plus their neighbouring countries, will be met on arrival and escorted to hotels to quarantine for ten days under plans being discussed by Ministers.

Mr Johnson is expected to chair a Covid-O committee to finalise the measures tomorrow. Passengers will have to pay for the mandatory hotel stays.

Boris Johnson is set to compel visitors from high-risk Covid countries to quarantine for ten days, The Mail on Sunday understands. Pictured: Crowds at London's Heathrow Airport

Meanwhile, spot checks for quarantining travellers from all countries will be ‘ramped up’ this week with visits to make sure they are home. 

The checks would be carried out by the police or Public Health England officials, a Government source said last night.

Home Secretary Priti Patel is among Cabinet Ministers who favour ramping up the checks. 

At the moment they only made after three missed or ‘suspicious’ phone calls. 

People found not to be quarantining where they said they would will be fined. Ministers are understood to have rejected proposals for GPS tracking of all arrivals on civil liberty grounds.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said there was ‘no such thing as closing the border entirely’, adding: ‘You always have to ensure you have a system where nationals can return.’

EU leaders are reportedly drawing up plans to ban flights from the UK to all member states. 

German chancellor Angela Merkel has called on the bloc to act in unison to prevent a new wave of the virus.

Portugal and the Netherlands have already suspended flights to and from Britain amid concerns over the new Covid variant. 

Meanwhile, photos of crowds at Heathrow Airport sparked concerns over poor social distancing and ‘super spreading’ the virus.

Former British ambassador Sir Peter Westmacott posted a photo on social media captioned: ‘T2 Heathrow Friday afternoon. No ventilation. Long delays. Super-spreading.’

Yesterday, a Home Office source said: ‘Airports are massive. We are encouraging them to snake people around the airports in more socially distanced ways.’

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