Under lockdown rules, holidays are banned, and testing regimes and quarantine are already in place for travellers, but the UK government said on Tuesday (February 9) it would bring in extra measures due to the risk of new variants on which vaccines may not work.
Health secretary Matt Hancock said people could be sent to prison and fined up if they broke the rules which come into force on February 15.
“Anyone who lies on the passenger locator form and tries to conceal that they’ve been in a country on the ‘red list’ in the 10 days before arrival here, will face a prison sentence of up to 10 years,” he told parliament.
British and Irish nationals arriving in England from the most high-risk countries, those on the “red list” such as South Africa, would need to pay £1,750, around $2,413, and spend the minimum 10-day quarantine in an assigned hotel, Hancock said.
Arrivals in England must currently have proof of a negative COVID-19 test in the past three days and then self isolate for 10 days from departure. The government would introduce a requirement for additional tests, Hancock said.