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T he Government is yet to have issued any formal contracts for ‘quarantine hotels’, just one week before the strict new border restrictions are due to come into force.
From next Monday, arrivals from 33 red-listed countries will have to spend ten days in mandatory quarantine at a Government-approved facility. However, a spokesperson for Downing Street has confirmed no contracts have been awarded yet.
“Last week the Department of Health issued a commercial specification to hotels near ports and airports,” said the Prime Minister’s official spokesperson. “This asked for proposals on how they could deliver managed quarantine facilities. No formal contracts have been awarded yet.”
Hotel groups including Best Western have reported a lack of communication from the Government, although Downing Street says it has now been in contact with more than 60 companies. Labour has also criticised the hotel quarantine plans, calling it “too little too late,” due to it starting around a month after the discovery of the new South African variant of Covid-19.
So far, 147 cases of the South African variant have been reported in the UK. Further details of the scheme will be announced later this week, said the Downing Street spokesperson.