Covid UK latest news – Brits returning from 22 countries face 10-day hotel quarantine over coronavirus, Boris announces

BRITS returning from 22 countries will be forced to quarantine in hotels for 10 days on their arrival, Boris Johnson announced today.

Anybody heading to the UK from the 22 high-risk nations, which includes Portugal, South Africa and Brazil, will now have to pay up to £1,500 per person for their hotel quarantine.

Holiday hotspots France, Spain and Greece have been handed exemptions – but it's understood the quarantine measures would be kept under review.

Speaking today, Boris Johnson said “In order to reduce the risk posed by UK nationals and residents returning home… all such arrivals who cannot be refused entry to isolate in government provided accommodation, such as hotels for 10 days without exception.

“They will be met at the airport and transported directly into quarantine. The Department of Health and Social care is working to establish these facilities as quickly as possible," he added.

Follow the live blog below for the very latest news, updates and analysis of the coronavirus crisis…

  • Chris Bradford

    GOVT WILL TAKE THE STEPS NECESSARY TO PREVENT SPREAD OF VIRUS, SAYS HOME SECRETARY

    Priti Patel said the Government will continue to "take all steps necessary" to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

    Addressing the Commons, the Home Secretary said: ""I would just like to remind anyone seeking to enter our country to comply with the rules.

    "This includes providing evidence of a negative Covid test before entering the United Kingdom, self-isolation on arrival for 10 days and the completion of the passenger locator form.

    "Immediately stepping up enforcement means that if you do not follow the regulations, you will face a fine. These new measures at the border are a necessary step to protect the public and our world class vaccination programme."

    Ms Patel continued: "Every layer of protection we have put in place will help to reduce the risk of transmission of this virus and any new potential strain from entering the UK.

    "And as we have done throughout this global health emergency, we will continue to take all steps necessary to protect the public and help prevent the spread of this virus."

  • Chris Bradford

    PATEL: 'GOING ON HOLIDAY IS NOT A VALID EXCUSE TO IGNORE RULES'

    Home Secretary Priti Patel said "going on holiday is not a valid reason" to ignore the stay-at-home rules.

    She told the Commons: "For those travelling out of the UK we will also be enhancing and stepping up enforcement rules.

    "Because despite the stay-at-home regulations we are still seeing people not complying with these rules. The rules are clear, people should be staying at home unless they have a valid reason to leave."

    Ms Patel added: "Going on holiday is not a valid reason, so we will introduce a new requirement so that people wishing to travel must first make a declaration as to why they need to travel.

    "This reason for travel will be checked by carriers prior to departure and this approach effectively mirrors the checks on arrivals that are already in place with the passenger locator form."

  • Chris Bradford

    THE RULES IN FULL

    Home Secretary Priti Patel outlined measures the Government is taking as border restrictions are strengthened.

    Ms Patel made it clear that there were still too many people entering the UK.

    The measures outlined are as follows:

    • Police carrying out more physical checks at addresses to ensure Brits are quarantining
    • Continue to refuse entry to non-UK residents from red-list countries which are already subject to the UK travel ban.
    • Introduce a managed isolation process in hotels for those who cannot be refused entry, including those arriving home from countries where international travel bans have already been imposed.
    • The isolation period will be 10 days without exception.
    • Chris Bradford

      BRITS MUST EXPLAIN TRAVEL REASONS UNDER NEW BORDER MEASURES

      Brits leaving the UK will be required to fill out a form explaining why they are travelling as well as introducing new hotel quarantine stays for some arrivals.

      Home Secretary Priti Patel said: "It is clear that there are still too many people coming in and out of our country each day.

      "We will introduce a new requirement so that people wishing to travel must first make a declaration as to why they need to travel."

    • Chris Bradford

      WATCH: HOME SECRETARY REVEALS HOTEL QUARANTINE PLAN TO PARLIAMENT

      Priti Patel reveals UK hotel quarantine plan to Parliament

    • Chris Bradford

      STURGEON: PM'S VISIT TO SCOTLAND NOT ESSENTIAL

      Scotland's First Minister has said Boris Johnson's proposed visit to Scotland on Thursday is "not essential".

      Nicola Sturgeon said there should not be one rule for the public and another for politicians, as the PM prepares to head north.

      Under current regulations put in place by the Scottish Government, only people making essential journeys across the border are allowed to enter Scotland.

      Similar regulations are also in place to stop travel across council boundaries within Scotland.

      Ms Sturgeon said: "I would say me travelling from Edinburgh to Aberdeen to visit a vaccination centre right now is not essential, and Boris Johnson travelling from London to wherever he is in Scotland to do the same is not essential.

      "I am not and never would be saying that Boris Johnson is not welcome in Scotland – he's the Prime Minister of the UK."

    • Alex Winter

      BORIS TO MAKE NATIONAL ADDRESS

      The PM will address Brits for the second day running today.

      He'll speak from Downing Street at 5pm after announcing the lockdown will be extended.

      Yesterday, Mr Johnson appeared at No10 to speak to the nation after the country's death toll passed 100,000.

    • Alex Winter

      WHAT DO NEW RULES MEAN FOR TRAVELLERS?

      Here's what to expect if you're a UK national currently out of the country, or planning on visiting the country from abroad.

      Anyone arriving from 22 "red list countries", including South Africa, Brazil and Portugal, will face strict isolation rules.

      Those who can't be refused entry must quarantine in hotels or other accommodation given the green light by the Government.

      And they'll stay put for ten days, with no exceptions.

      Arrivals will be met at the airport and taken directly into quarantine.

      Holiday hotspots France, Spain and Greece have been handed exemption – but it's understood the quarantine measures would be kept under review.

      This means the strict rules could be slapped in place at any point in the future.

      An arrival at Heathrow's terminal 2 todayCredit: w8media
    • Alex Winter

      BORDER FORCE

      Lots of huge news this afternoon.

      The PM has just confirmed that border officials and airport staff will stop Brits leaving the country under strict new plans.

      People trying to leave the UK will be stopped if their reason is deemed non-essential – while those arriving from 22 high-risk countries will be forced into quarantine.

      Here's everything we know so far.

    • Alex Winter

      PM SAYS HIS PRIORITY IS GETTING KIDS BACK IN CLASS

      Boris said today: "The most important thing is to get kids back in school as soon as we sensibly can.

      "That is what the government is determined to do."

      He also promised to publish a roadmap by the end of February – after the recess – of how he intends to put Britain back on the path to normality.

      "Our plan for leaving the lockdown will set out our approach for reopening schools," he said.

      Here's everything you need to know.

    • Alex Winter

      LOCKDOWN EXTENDED – AND SCHOOLS TO STAY SHUT

      The big news this afternoon is that Boris Johnson has extended England's lockdown for another three weeks – and schools won't go back until March 8 at the earliest.

      The PM said today lifting the nations restrictions and going back to school will go hand in-hand – and he will not be able to get kids back to class after February half-term as hoped.

      The PM told Parliament this afternoon children would continue to learn remotely for another five weeks – and there was not yet enough data to decide when to lift the lockdown measures.

      More on this in the next post.

      The PM said today that lockdown can't end yet
    • Alex Winter

      HUNDREDS MORE DIE IN ENGLAND

      Another 973 people have died with Covid in England.

      Patients were aged between 29 and 103 years old, and 50 – who were aged 32 to 98 – had known underlying health conditions.

    • Chris Bradford

      BACK ON FORTH ON SCHOOLS ‘NONSENSE’

      Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said he welcomes steps to reopen schools but branded the Government’s u-turn as “kind of nonsense that’s led to the highest death toll in Europe”.

      Primary schools reopened following the Christmas break on January 4, only to be closed again the next day.

    • Chris Bradford

      COVID VARIANT IDENTIFIED IN SOUTH EAST 'DOMINANT' STRAIN IN SOUTH EAST

      Dr Rob Orford, the chief scientific adviser for health, told the Welsh Government briefing that the strain of Covid-19 identified in the South East of England had become the "dominant strain" across Wales.

      "We believe this strain has been driving higher rates of cases seen over the Christmas period and into the new year," he said.

      Scientists were also "closely" monitoring other variants, including those emerging from South Africa and Brazil, Dr Oford said.

      He said there had been 10 identified cases of the South African variant which were found in people travelling to Wales from abroad.

       

    • Chris Bradford

      WHAT HAS THE PM ANNOUNCED?

      • The Government hopes kids will return to school from 8 March
      • Government will prolong free school meal arrangements
      • Develop long term plan – working with teachers and schools so students have the opportunity to make up lost time.
      • Chris Bradford

        SCHOOL'S STILL OUT

        Schools will not reopen immediately after the February half term, the PM confirms.

         

      • Chris Bradford

        BREAKING

        All UK nationals and residents arriving from some countries who cannot be refused entry will have to isolate in hotels for 10 days without exception, PM confirms.

        Arrivals will be met at the airport and transported into quarantine.

      • Chris Bradford

        BORIS STATEMENT

        Boris Johnson has apologised to the British people after it was revealed that 100,000 deaths from coronavirus have been recorded.

        He said: "The most important thing we can do to honour their memory is persevere against this virus with ever greater resolve."

        Boris confirmed that both the Pfizer and Astrazenica vaccines are effective against the UK variant.

      • Chris Bradford

        HOLD YOUR HOLS

        Nicola Sturgeon has told Scots NOT to book holidays and threatened to "go further" on hotel quarantine ahead of Priti Patel's announcement today.

        Ms Sturgeon said there should be "supervised quarantine" for all arrivals into the UK rather than only people returning from high-risk countries.

        The PM confirmed this lunchtime the Home Secretary will set out this afternoon "even tougher measures" for any "red list" countries across Europe, Africa, and South America to try and keep out mutant strains.

        It means all travellers will be forced to cough up as much as £1,500 for a 10 day stint in hotel quarantine.

        Following a "four nations" call about quarantine hotels this morning, Nicola Sturgeon said she was "concerned that the proposal does not go far enough".

        She said Scotland would initially follow the UK Government approach, but a "comprehensive system of supervised quarantine" was needed and she was urging Boris Johnson to "go much further"

      • Chris Bradford

        BORIS SPEECH

        Boris Johnson will address the House of Commons at 1:30pm on the future of schools.

        Priti Patel will then give a statement on border restrictions in the Commons at 2.25pm.

        The PM will then lead a Downing Street news conference at 5pm this evening.

      • Chris Bradford

        HOTSPOTS

        Coronavirus infections are still rising in 26 areas in England and this interactive map reveals how high case rates are in your local area.

        Official data from Public Health England (PHE) shows that cases have fallen in 289 places (92 per cent).

        The data accounts for the seven days up to January 22 and shows that just nine per cent of areas have seen a rise in cases.

        The most infected area in the country is Knowsley in Merseyside, which recorded 1,330 new cases in the seven days to January 22, the equivalent of 881.6 cases per 100,000 people.

        This is down from 1,134.1 cases per 100,000 people in the seven days to January 15.

        Click HERE to find about your area.

      • Chris Bradford

        ANOTHER 537 CASES RECORDED IN WALES

        There have been a further 537 cases of coronavirus in Wales, taking the total number of confirmed cases to 189,689.

        Public Health Wales reported another 49 deaths, taking the total in Wales since the start of the pandemic to 4,610.

      • Chris Bradford

        SCOTLAND COVID UPDATE

        Scotland has recorded 92 deaths of coronavirus patients and 1,330 new cases in the past 24 hours, first minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

        The death toll under this measure – of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days – is now 5,888.

        Speaking at the Scottish Government coronavirus briefing, the First Minister said the daily test positivity rate is 6.2 per cent, down from 9 per cent on Tuesday, when 1,049 new cases were recorded.

        There are 2,016 people in hospital confirmed to have Covid-19, up six in 24 hours.

        Of these patients, 145 are in intensive care, a fall of four in the same period.

        Ms Sturgeon added that 462,092 people have received their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

      • Chris Bradford

        VACCINE BREAKDOWN

         

      • Chris Bradford

        GRIM TOLL

        A total of 7,902 people have died in Scotland with confirmed or suspected coronavirus, according to the National Records of Scotland (NRS).

        The figures show 448 deaths relating to Covid-19 were registered between January 18 and 24, up 75 on the previous week.

        Of these, the majority were in hospital at 294, with 111 in care homes, 35 at home or in a non-institutional setting and eight in other institutions.

        North Lanarkshire recorded the highest number of deaths at 48, followed by Glasgow City at 43 and Fife at 33.

        The statistics are published weekly and cover all deaths registered in Scotland where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

        They differ from the lab-confirmed coronavirus deaths announced daily by the Scottish Government because the NRS figures include suspected or probable cases of Covid-19.

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