Quarantine Hotels in Scotland: How much do foreign arrivals have to pay and how are the isolation rules different from England?

Scotland’s new system of quarantine hotels for travellers from abroad comes into effect today.

Here is everything you need to know about how it works.

How will quarantine hotels work and how much do they cost?

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A total of six hotels have been block-booked in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow, with up to 1,300 rooms available between them, according to the Scottish Government.

Three of the the hotels are near Edinburgh Airport, two close to Glasgow Airport and one near Aberdeen Airport.

Unless exempt, a passenger will have to pay £1,750 to quarantine in a room.

Scottish Government guidance stipulates those subject to quarantine require a negative Covid-19 test no more than three days before travelling and to have booked at a room at a quarantine hotel in advance.

They will also have to submit a passenger locator form to the Home Office declaring which countries they have been to in the 10 days before arrival in the UK.

A total of six hotels have been block-booked in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow, with up to 1,300 rooms available between them, according to the Scottish Government. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Airlines have been asked to check for these and they will also be checked by Border Force officers on arrival, who can issue fines of £480 for non-compliance.

Security will then escort passengers to baggage reclaim and to pre-arranged transport to the quarantine hotel.

On arrival at the hotel, they will be given two home testing kits to be used on days two and eight of isolation.

These are covered by the cost as are three meals per day, fruit and soft drinks.

Scottish Government guidance stipulates those subject to quarantine require a negative Covid-19 test no more than three days hours before travelling and to have booked at a room at a quarantine hotel in advance. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

If they test positive at any point they will be required to stay in the hotel for 10 days after the test, at an additional charge starting at £152 daily for the first adult.

Are Scotland’s quarantine hotel rules different to England’s?

In England, the UK Government will only require hotel quarantine for visitors from a “red list” of 33 countries designated as high risk.

The administration has struck deals with 16 hotels so far, it says, providing 4,963 rooms for the new quarantine system, with a further 58,000 rooms “on standby”.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "The rules coming into force today will bolster the quarantine system and provide another layer of security against new variants at the border. He added that the measures were "important to protect our vaccination programme".

Are there any loopholes?

Scottish Transport Secretary Michael Matheson warned on Sunday that a “loophole” allowing overseas travellers to avoid hotel quarantine could “potentially undermine the public health approach” in Scotland.

He said travellers arriving from elsewhere could avoid having to stay in a quarantine hotel by entering Scotland via England.

Visitors would still have to self-isolate for the 10-day period, but would not have to do so at one of the designated hotels due to a lack of agreement between Scottish and Westminster governments.

Mr Matheson told the BBC’s The Sunday Show, he said: “It is a loophole that has been created by the UK Government and its failure to take action on the basis of the clinical, expert advice that has been provided on this matter.”

He added: “The simplest and the safest approach to dealing with this is to have a comprehensive system in place.

“If the UK Government aren’t prepared to do that, we could resolve the issue by simply ensuring those who are transferring on to Scotland have to go to a quarantine facility near to the airport they arrive at in England.”

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