Which hotels will be used – and where will they be?
The Government expects around 1,425 people a day to be bussed to the hotels on arrival, the majority at Heathrow, but also nine other ports of entry: Gatwick, London City Airport, Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester, Farnborough in Hampshire, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen.
Groups with hotels along Heathrow’s Bath Road have been approached, including Thistle, Renaissance and Premier Inn, with Best Western and Accor having already confirmed they are willing to offer up rooms.
In countries where ‘directed isolation’ currently takes place, properties often offer dwellings of various sizes. Apartment hotels are particularly popular, enabling families to isolate together – often with self-contained cooking and washing facilities.
In every instance, guests must stay entirely within their own room, suite or apartment; venturing into public areas is not permitted.
A spokesperson for Accor in the UK said: “We have been working closely with the authorities since the very beginning of this pandemic, and this continues today. We have had confirmation that Managed Quarantine Facilities will come into effect from February 15 and we have received the commercial specifications for our hotels.
“Discussions are well underway with Government and our hotels stand ready to support [its] call for quarantine in order to enable safe travel for [Britons] and essential international travel in these challenging Covid times, just as we have done in other countries. Accommodating those in crisis and those fighting the crisis throughout the pandemic has accelerated our knowledge of health and safety procedures and enables our frontline hotel teams to do what they do best, which is to take good care of people.”