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UK Announces Draconian Punishments for Rogue Visitors

UK Announces Draconian Punishments for Rogue Visitors

UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced the strictest sanctions yet for anyone looking to evade new travel restrictions that will come into force on February 15.

Arrivals from the 33 countries on the government’s ‘red list’ – including South Africa, Portugal and most of South America – will have to isolate for 10 days in a government-sanctioned hotel – at a cost of £1,750, including transport and testing. UK and Irish nationals returning from red list countries will also have to comply.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Matt Hancock also announced a raft of  tough deterrents for anyone trying to evade the restrictions, including fines of up to £10,000 for avoiding mandatory hotel quarantining and up to 10 years in prison for lying on passenger locator forms.

Although the Irish government has yet to announce details of its own hotel quarantine scheme, Hancock also said that the UK government was working with Dublin as well as the devolved governments in Belfast, Edinburgh and Cardiff to establish “similarly tough” sanctions.

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Fionn Davenport is the editor-in-chief of the ITTN group, including ITTN and ITTN Ireland. He's one of Ireland's best-known travel journalists and writers, with nearly 30 years' experience writing guidebooks for Lonely Planet and others.

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