UK doesn’t rule out quarantine hotels, GPS to fight virus
The U.K. government will “consider all possibilities” to enforce Covid-19 rules for travelers, and won’t rule out setting up quarantine hotels and using GPS trackers to fight the spread of the coronavirus, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said.
Raab warned on Sunday there would be more checks by Public Health England to make sure people are self-isolating in their own homes for 10 days after arrival.
He also refused to rule out setting up the hotels or using global positioning system trackers, saying that “all of the possibilities” are being considered. The Sunday Times reported officials are preparing quarantine hotels and the use of GPS and facial recognition technology to make sure people stay put.
From Monday, the U.K. is closing its travel corridors with countries around the world, meaning all visitors from overseas will require a negative coronavirus test result within 72 hours of travel to enter Britain.
Raab said the move was a “precautionary measure” as the U.K. rolls out its vaccination program across the country, with the aim of immunizing all adults by September. He said he hoped restrictions in the U.K. could begin to be eased by the “early spring” but it would be a gradual process rather than a “big bang.”
England is in the second week of its third national lockdown and ministers have promised to offer shots to 15 million of the most vulnerable people by mid-February. More than 3.5 million people in the U.K. have so far received their first dose of a vaccine.
Raab said he couldn’t guarantee that everyone would get their second dose within 12 weeks, only that “we ought to” be able to deliver.
Pressed on enforcement over self-isolation, he told Sky News: “We’re making sure that Public Health England checks to make sure people are adhering to those rules. As well as changing the rules, we are also making sure that we beef up the capacity to make those checks.”
Asked to confirm the Sunday Times report on the quarantine hotels Raab told Times Radio, “We’re not in ordinary times.” People need to be aware that if they break the rules on quarantine after travel, there was n0ow a “high risk” they would get caught, Raab said.
This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.