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Quarantine hotel booking finally opens after glitch

Written by: Emma Lunn
The government's new quarantine hotel booking platform is now up and running after going down ‘for maintenance’ immediately after being launched.

The website went live yesterday but hotel rooms could not be booked, despite the new quarantine hotel regime starting on Monday. Visitors to the site were met with a message which stated that site maintenance was being performed.

But the site is now working with arrivals into England from ‘red list’ countries, and all arrivals into Scotland, able to book rooms.

What to do before you travel

You can only travel to the UK from a red list country if you’re a British or Irish national or you have residence rights in the UK

Before you travel you must:

If you don’t arrange a quarantine package prior to your arrival in England, you face a penalty of up to £4,000 and will still have to pay for your quarantine hotel on arrival.

Where you must arrive

If you travel from a red list country and so are required to quarantine in a hotel, you can only arrive in England at Heathrow Airport, Gatwick Airport, London City Airport, Birmingham Airport and Farnborough Airfield.

In Scotland, you’ll need to fly into Aberdeen, Glasgow or Edinburgh.

Other ports of entry may be added in the future.

If you have a pre-existing booking to a different port of entry on or after the 15 February, it’s your responsibility to change it to one of the ports of entry specified above.

How much does hotel quarantine cost?

One person in a room costs £1,750 for 11 nights. An extra adult (aged 12 or over) in a room costs £650 – so couples sharing a room will pay £2,400.

Children under five are free, while there’s a £325 charge for children aged five to 12.

What happens if I can’t afford to pay?

People facing significant financial hardship as a result of this charge, can apply for a deferred repayment plan when booking.

This is only available for people who already receive income-related benefits, and you will be required to pay back the debt to the government in 12 monthly instalments.

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