The UK introduced a mandatory hotel quarantine system for most groups returning from ‘red list’
countries in February 2021, with Scotland applying this to travellers from outside the Common
Travel area.
Costs are borne by the traveller but are substantial. A fee waiver should be introduced for those on
low incomes returning for essential purposes, including family reasons.
Appropriate standards of accommodation are not in place across the system. There are questions
about training and support for those working in quarantine hotels, about cleanliness and food
hygiene and about infection risks including from poor ventilation. It is unclear whether or how the
system is being evaluated.
Little thought has been given to the wellbeing of incoming travellers required to quarantine in these
facilities. If the system continues to be needed, as is likely, efforts should be made to move from a
focus on management and enforcement, to engagement and support.

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