Threatened by the emerging COVID-19 mutations, the British administration has ordered a new system of ‘hotel quarantine’. The new rule would be applied to all the British, Irish citizens and other UK residents who arrive in England after being in a high-risk COVID country. Pertaining to the same, the health officials have also released a list of 33 high-risk nations which includes countries of South Africa, Portugal, Mauritius, Chile amongst others.
As per the government decree, all the aforementioned travellers would be required to quarantine in government-approved hotels for 10 days, with negative tests required for them to then be released. They are additionally required to pre-book and pay £1,750 to spend their designated duration of isolation. While England has released its ‘red list’ of high-risk countries, Scotland has made it mandatory for all incoming travellers to ‘hotel quarantine’.
The duration of ‘hotel quarantine’ is higher in the Asian and Pacific nations. In Australia and New Zealand, isolation lasts for 14 days from the time of arrival, while Hong Kong requires 21 days in hotel isolation. In addendum, the range of people allowed to enter the country also decreases as one travels towards the east.
Both, Australia and New Zealand only allow citizens to enter the country, with a few exceptions. Meanwhile, Taiwan allows citizens in addition to international students. Hong Kong and some Australian states totally restrict guests from leaving their rooms during quarantine, while New Zealand in most cases allows regular outdoor exercise or smoking. In comparison, the UK allows “supervised exercise” only with special permissions.
Guests who test positive in quarantine in England are expected to prolong their stay for 10 days following the positive result. While, in New Zealand, hose who test positive – including staff – are transferred to a special quarantine facility in Auckland with heavier restrictions. Also, the UK does not mandate regular testing as compared to other nations. As per the latest tally by John Hopkins University, the UK has reported 4,038,078 and 117,166 fatalities since the COVID-19 infection was first reported in the country in January 2019.