WORRIED airline bosses are insisting that the Government gives an "urgent road map for the reopening of air travel".
Their demand comes as Home Secretary Priti Patel is today expected to announce the introduction of Covid quarantine hotels for arriving travellers.
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What time is Priti Patel's announcement?
Following the Prime Minister's Question Time at midday, the Home Secretary will give a ministerial statement at about 2.15-2.25pm.
What is Priti Patel expected to announce?
The government is this afternoon due to reveal the outcome of ministerial discussions over imposing stricter border measures to protect the country against the spread of new coronavirus variants.
This was to have been aired yesterday, but the announcement was delayed until today, Wednesday, January 27.
Priti Patel is expected to confirm the introduction of quarantine hotels for arriving travellers, similar to but not as restrictive as Australia's and New Zealand's Covid accommodation.
This would require passengers to pay more than £1,000 to self-isolate in hotels upon arriving in the UK.
She will reportedly announce that all travellers arriving in Britain from 30 high-risk countries across the globe will be forced into hotel quarantine.
The Home Secretary is set to slap extra travel curbs on destinations across Europe, Africa, and South America to try and keep out mutant strains.
There have been more than 100,000 deaths related to coronavirus in the UK, nearly a year after the first reported cases in the country.
How can I watch Priti Patel's announcement?
Ms Patel's announcement can be watched on The Sun's YouTube channel.
Or, follow live updates on our dedicated coronavirus liveblog.
How would hotel quarantine work?
A quarantine hotel is a dedicated facility used to temporarily accommodate arriving travellers, while keeping them totally separate and isolated from the wider public.
Checked luggage is transferred separately to the specially designated accommodation and, as long as they don't have any symptoms, travellers are also transferred to a hotel or other designated quarantine facility.
Once they've been taken to a Covid hotel, travellers would be expected to remain in isolation for ten days.
Best Western and Accor, who run Australia’s quarantine facilities, said they are ready to answer the nation’s quarantine call and provide space.
It's been reported that Ms Patel had pushed for a total closure of the UK's borders, as Labour has demanded, but that was rejected by Boris Johnson.
Instead, under the new regime, arrivals from the 30 highest risk countries will have to immediately quarantine in hotels near airports for ten days.
Travellers will have to pick up the tab themselves, at a cost of up to £1,500 each.
Destinations hit include parts of South America around Brazil, countries around South Africa, plus Portugal and Cape Verde – and maybe even celebrity haunt Dubai.
If ministers do approve of this proposed measure, quarantine hotels would be introduced near major airports.
What is Australia’s system?
In March 2020, as the coronavirus was spreading across the world, New Zealand and Australia acted swiftly, shutting down borders and enforcing a mandatory two weeks in hotel quarantine for anyone allowed to enter.
Twenty-five people have died from Covid in New Zealand, while Australia's death toll sits at 909.
Australia operates an extremely strict mandatory regime for arriving travellers – who are invoiced for their stay at Covid hotels, with fees covering accommodation and daily meals.
Quarantine has been run on a state-by-state basis, with each state or territory responsible for administering its own hotel isolation programme.
For example in New South Wales, the duration of hotel quarantine is for a minimum of 14 days, but it can go up to 24 days, depending on Covid test results.
People who refuse to be tested, or test positive (day two and day 12), must stay in quarantine for the longer period of 24 days in NSW.
All those travelling to Western Australia must quarantine in a hotel for 14 days following arrival in that state.
Two weeks of supervised mandatory quarantine is also expected for those touching down in Queensland and South Australia.
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