Boris Johnson set to impose compulsory hotel quarantines for UK arrivals in bid to tackle new Covid strain

BORIS Johnson is set to impose compulsory hotel quarantines for those arriving in Britain.

The PM is also expected to tighten border controls amid mounting concerns over the spread of Covid variants.

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A tough package of restrictions is being drawn up after top scientists demanded fierce action to halt the march of the mutants.

Ministers will meet tomorrow to thrash out an action plan to keep out deadly new strains discovered in South Africa and Brazil.

They are expected to agree a further crackdown, including stripping millionaire sports stars of special travel perks which allow them to slip away for secret sunshine breaks.

Meanwhile, people who have had a Covid jab will be reminded of a warning from Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van-Tam that they do not have a “freedom pass” to break lockdown.

“Covid hotels” will be introduced at major airports where arrivals from abroad will be ordered to quarantine.

And a new “selfie-isolation” rule is likely, which will require those in quarantine to send a daily picture proving they are staying indoors.

'SELFIE-ISOLATION'

Senior advisers have convinced Mr Johnson that further action is needed following evidence that a new variant found in Kent is both more virulent and deadly.

Peter Horby, professor of emerging infectious diseases, warned yesterday: “This virus has still got a few surprises to spring on us, I’m afraid.”

Medical experts are pushing for the tightest possible border controls — but the Government is expected to stop short of a complete closure.

A more likely option is compulsory hotel quarantine for international arrivals, a system used in Australia and New Zealand.

These restrictions do allow for British nationals and residents to re-enter the country, providing they self-isolate on arrival.

The hotel industry has compiled a guidance document for ministers but no deal has been struck at this stage.



The new restrictions will bring dismay to tourism and aviation bosses who have been pleading for more financial aid from government.

But even supportive Cabinet ministers — including Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Transport Secretary Grant Shapps — have now been convinced of the need to step up restrictions.

Mr Van-Tam yesterday dampened down public glee as the number of vaccinations carried out topped 5.8million.

He warned that getting a jab did not give anyone the right to behave as though the world had returned to normal and warned everyone to “be patient”.

'SCRAP SPORT VIP TRAVEL'

Travel exemptions for top sport stars will be ripped up.

A source said: “The privileges for elite athletes were brought in so they could fly to major sporting events but it seems many of them have been using them to jet off to playboy resorts.

“It’s about time we tightened up on this. Everyone else must be wondering why they are allowed to sun themselves in hot climes while they are stuck at home.”

The move follows Celtic abandoning matches after a trip to Dubai for a training camp where a player later tested positive and team mates had to isolate.

Whitehall chiefs are also discussing the development of a new smartphone app to monitor Brits self-isolating.



 

Individuals would take a selfie which would be run through facial recognition checks and also matched with their quarantine address.

A 20-minute window exists for those isolating to send images and information otherwise police are alerted and could swoop.

  • The Government is taking action against tricksters selling bogus “immunity boosting” anti-Covid supplements on eBay. It insisted that the online marketplace removes the sellers.

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