Wednesday 10 February 2021 / 10:27 PM Keir Starmer

Labour estimates 10,000 travellers from higher-risk countries will avoid hotel quarantine on Monday

Keir Starmer today [Thursday] calls on the Prime Minister to address “gaping holes” in the Government’s new hotel quarantine system as figures suggest thousands of people travelling from higher-risk countries will be missed by the scheme every day.

New analysis of passenger data by the Labour Party suggests 10,000 passengers will arrive in the UK on Monday from countries where the South African or Brazilian variants of Covid-19 are circulating but which are not on the Government’s ‘red list’. Those passengers will not be required to quarantine in hotels under the UK Government’s planned system.

Ahead of a visit to Heathrow Airport today, Starmer repeats his demands for hotel quarantine to be applied to all UK arrivals, and for the UK Government to bring forward a sector support package for aviation. This follows the Scottish Government announcement that all arrivals will be required to quarantine in hotels.

The Labour leader also calls on the Prime Minister to “come clean” and publish daily data on passengers entering the UK from different countries from next Monday. Flight data for Thursday, analysed by Labour, shows that 98 flights are due to land in England’s largest airports from countries where Covid-19 variants have been found, but where passengers will not be subject to hotel quarantine on Monday.

Overall, figures suggest roughly 19 out of 20 passengers arriving in the country from Monday will avoid hotels and be asked to quarantine at home. Yet research from Labour found just three in every 100 people are being checked to ensure they comply with home quarantine.


Keir Starmer, Leader of the Labour Party, said:

“The Government’s failure to secure our borders risks jeopardising the fight against Covid-19. All the effort being put into the vaccine roll-out across Britain could be undermined by a vaccine-resistant strain entering the country.

“The Government is leaving gaping holes in our defences against Covid variants, with the vast majority of arrivals from Monday set to avoid hotel quarantine.

“The Prime Minister must listen to Labour and ensure all international arrivals are quarantined in hotels and the aviation sector is supported while that happens. He should also come clean on the numbers of people arriving from different countries by publishing daily arrivals data.”