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People arriving in Scotland must book and pay £1750 for hotel quarantine from next week

By Jonathan Clark

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PEOPLE arriving in Scotland from outside the Common Travel Area must book and pay for managed isolation in quarantine hotels from next week.

The Scottish Government announced the measures – which come into effect on Monday, February 15 – today in a bid to protect against the importation of Covid-19 from abroad.

The Common Travel Area is a long-standing arrangement between the United Kingdom, the Crown Dependencies (Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man) and Ireland. Managed isolation will only apply to people travelling from outwith this area.

Six hotels close to Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow airports, with a combined capacity of 1300 rooms, will be used to implement the quarantine at a cost of £1750 per traveller.

Aberdeen Airport.
Aberdeen Airport.

Final costs for those not travelling alone are currently being worked through, as well as the details for a Managed Isolation Welfare Fund which will be launched for those who cannot afford the charge.

All arrivals must quarantine for at least ten days and will be tested for Covid-19 twice – once on day two and once on day eight after arrival.

As regulations to support the introduction of managed isolation are developed, a range of offences and penalties to help ensure compliance will be considered.

A small number of arrivals will not be required to isolate, such as those involved in essential supply chains for goods coming into Scotland.

Existing travel exemptions will be strengthened, including limiting overseas training for elite sportspeople to athletes and coaches preparing for the Olympics and Paralympics.

Non-essential international travel remains banned.

The Scottish Government will continue to engage with airports, while discussions to secure a four nations approach to contracting the security, transport and accommodation services required are already under way.

In a statement to Parliament, the Transport Secretary Michael Matheson urged the UK Government to match the comprehensive approach being taken by the Scottish Government.

He said: “To manage the risk of importing new variants, and to give vaccine deployment the best chance of bringing us closer to normality here in Scotland, we have to place further limits on international travel.

“The UK Government has only committed to adopting this for travellers returning from “red list” countries. However, we know that is not sufficient and we will go further.

“The clinical advice is clear that a comprehensive system of managed quarantine is essential to minimise the impact of new Covid-19 variants."

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