A hotel chain has said its rooms are ready to welcome travelers under the government’s delayed quarantine program.
Ministers are scrambling to book 28,000 rooms across the UK to accommodate people arriving from Red List countries for 11 nights.
Earlier today, the government defended another 10-day delay before the start of the program.
But St Giles Hotels says its site near Heathrow Airport can be “quickly expanded” for the new program.
St Giles Hotels says its site near London Heathrow could be ready very quickly
Managing Director Abigail Tan said: “We stand ready to support the government’s quarantine program here at St Giles Heathrow, and do our part to allow safe travel during these unprecedented times. “
And Jojean Porte, Regional Director of Operations at St Giles Hotels, added: “We have already carried out a very thorough risk assessment in accordance with WHO protocols and UK government guidelines.
“We really need to increase the number of rooms as soon as we receive updates from the government.
“But we are ready. Hygiene protocols, cleaning procedures, staff training – here we are. “
Photos show hand sanitizers and door seals on prepared rooms at the three-star hotel near the airport.
Hotels should have “government approved” security personnel on each floor to ensure people do not leave rooms, and smokers should be escorted outside.
Three meals a day with fruit and water will be delivered to the door, with hot and cold options available. Tea and coffee will be available in the room, but guests are required to clean their bathrooms and change their own linens. Some hotels have suggested providing yoga mats to help people exercise and relax while in detention.
Mr Hancock said the government would be “vigilant” about the countries that would be subject to the measures.
Speaking during a visit to Gatwick Airport, he said: “We will be vigilant to ensure that the hotel quarantine that we are introducing applies to the right countries where we see these new variants.
“We have a monitoring program around the world, working with international partners to make sure that we can spot where these new variants are emerging, like Brazil and South Africa that we’ve seen so far, and making sure we can keep people here safe with the new hotel quarantine.