According to recent reports from The Telegraph, the Department of Transport in the UK met with health officials on Wednesday, February 17th to discuss the new Covid variants and to assess whether Spain should be added to the ‘red list’.
This means that if confirmed, anyone travelling from Spain to the UK, including British citizens, will have to quarantine in a government-approved hotel costing up to £1,750 per person.
If Spain is added to the list, passengers to the UK will have to make bookings in advance through a dedicated online portal.
The £1,750 package will include assigned government transportation from the airport or ports, food and drinks, accommodation in a government approved facility and Covid-19 tests.
The government has so far contracted 16 hotels with 4,600 rooms, but more will have to be added if Spain is put on the list.
Currently around 500 people travel from Spain to the UK every day, meaning that many will have to fork out hefty price tags if this is confirmed.
Anyone failing to declare that they arrived from a ‘red list’ country and not buying the package to quarantine for 10 days in a designated hotel, will be fined between £5,000 to £10,000.
A final decision on the new list will be decided at a Cabinet Covid meeting this week.
Countries currently on the UK’s so-called ‘red list’ include several South American and African countries, as well as the United Arab Emirates. The only European country currently on the list is Portugal.
As well as Spain, UK health officials are also considering adding the United States to the list.
Currently all passengers to the UK, no matter which country they have travelled from, need to fill out a passenger locator form and provide proof of a negative PCR test taken no more than three days before departure.
They must also self-quarantine on arrival in the UK, although can do so at a private residence.
Under the current UK rules, travellers to the UK also need to purchase a travel testing package costing £210, which includes Covid-19 tests on day two and day eight of quarantine.
Failure to comply will result in fines of a £1,000 for not getting the first test and a further £2,000 penalty for anyone who doesn’t get the second test. Full details can be found here.