Forced hotel quarantine for all UK arrivals labelled ‘unfeasible’



a sign on the side of a building: Labour has called for the mandatory quarantine to apply to all arrivals  - Getty 


© Getty
Labour has called for the mandatory quarantine to apply to all arrivals  – Getty 

The Labour Party is pushing for strict hotel quarantine measures to apply to all UK arrivals.

Last night in the House of Commons, Labour called for the 10-day Government-mandated quarantine to be immediately extended, due to fears over potential new virus variants. Conservative MPs abstained from the vote.

Currently, only arrivals who have travelled from a list of 33 ‘red list’ countries, including swathes of South America, South Africa and Portugal, will be subject to the new rules. 

Shadow Home Secretary, Nick Thomas-Symonds, said: “Covid is not going away. We need this strategy, and we need it now.”

He added: “I recognise, of course, the huge challenges to the aviation sector and its supply chains, the impact on the tourism and hospitality industry, and the number of jobs that it supports.”

However, he gave few specifics on timelines, practicalities or how the industry could be helped, other than extended Government support. 

This morning, Junior Education Minister Michelle Donelan pushed back on the motion,  telling the BBC that it was “unfeasible” to house all arrivals in hotel quarantine, adding “we have to be realistic about what we adopt and what we do.” 

The Cabinet is understood to be split on whether to tighten the rules. Home Secretary Priti Patel is said to be among those wanting stricter controls, while Transport Secretary Grant Shapps favours a more targeted approach. 

In Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is expected to announce more extensive hotel quarantine measures today. 

Scroll down for more updates.

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09:42 AM

US tightens mask rules for travellers

Passengers at US airports must wear face masks while going through security checkpoints, or face being denied boarding.

The new measure will be in place until at least May 11, with fines for those who flout the rule. 

The move is part of a general tightening of face mask rules in the country. Following an executive order by President Joe Biden, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced that from today all passengers on aircraft, ships, ferries, trains, subways, buses and ride-shares must wear face coverings.

Cruise ships are currently banned from operating in US waters and it is unclear whether the rule will continue once sailings resume.

09:27 AM

Emirates resumes outbound flights from UK

Starting today, the carrier will operate a daily flightfrom Heathrow to Dubai and four services per week from Manchester.

In a statement, the airline said: “Emirates is reinstating outbound flights from the UK to Dubai primarily to help return passengers, particularly UAE residents, to get home. Passenger services inbound to the UK remain suspended as per Government directives.”

Last week, the UAE was added to the Government’s travel ban list, leading to the cancellation of 78 services a week.

09:16 AM

UK holiday rental company announces best-ever sales day



a living room filled with furniture and a large window: Cottages.com property


© Provided by The Telegraph
Cottages.com property


Holiday rental giant cottages.com is predicting a summer staycation sell-out, after recording its best-ever sales day on Sunday.

Bookings were up nearly 20 per cent on the previous record set last June when Boris Johnson lifted UK travel restrictions at the end of the first national lockdown. At that time, the agent’s parent company Awaze sold a break every 11 seconds.

The company took more than 8,000 bookings over the weekend, enjoying consecutive record booking days on Saturday and Sunday.

Nearly half of all holidays sold were for July and August, while nearly a quarter were for getaways in Cornwall and Devon.

Coastal breaks proved popular, with 50 per cent of all weekend bookings featuring a property close to the sea.

Simon Altham, group chief operating officer at Awaze, said: “These are astonishing figures. We saw a rapid increase in bookings last week off the back of the tightening of European travel restrictions, and that momentum only gathered pace over the weekend.   

“People clearly want something to look forward to and a future holiday, when it is safe to travel again, is perfect for helping to get through the cold winter months during lockdown.”

09:06 AM

 South Africa eases lockdown restrictions 

President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that South Africa will loosen its strict lockdown restrictions, due to a reduction in hospitalisations. 

In an address on Monday he said: “Public places such as beaches, dams, rivers, parks and public swimming pools will be reopened subject to health protocols.” 

He added: “It remains compulsory for all South Africans to wear a mask in a public space.” 

Restrictions will also be eased on the sale of alcohol, which was previously banned.

The news follows a flurry of protests in Cape Town at the weekend over the continued closures of beaches, despite a recent drop in cases. 

09:03 AM

What happened yesterday? 

A recap of the Monday’s main stories.

  • Ryanair Reports Q3 Loss of €306m as Traffic Falls 78%
  • Israel extends nationwide coronavirus lockdown 
  • ‘Covid mindset’ blamed as gun seizures at US airports double
  • Rusty pilots admit they are making mistakes because of a lack of flying time 
  • Tourist spending in London down by £10 billion in 2020
  • Isle of Man ends lockdown
  • Boris Johnson ‘optimistic’ about summer holiday prospects
  • British tourists fined in Austrian ski resort raids

Now, on with today’s news.