UK's Covid-19 quarantine hotel booking website crashes minutes after launching
By ANI/Sputnik reporter
London – The new online system for booking a room in the Covid-19 quarantine hotels that will accommodate travellers arriving in the United Kingdom from 33 red-listed countries was taken down only minutes after it was launched on Thursday, the Department of Health and Social Care confirmed.
"Due to a minor technical issue, the link to the booking portal in this guidance will not be available until later today. Please return to this page later if you wish to make a booking," the official website said.
On Tuesday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that starting on February 15, UK and Irish citizens and residents in the UK arriving from "red list" countries will have to quarantine for 10 days in hotels designated by the government, in an attempt to prevent new coronavirus variants from entering the country.
Passengers will have to prebook the rooms at a cost of £1 750 (about R35 000) and allow themselves to be regularly tested for Covid-19, and those who give false information on the locator forms upon arrival or fail to comply with the quarantine rules will incur heavy fines or up to 10 years in prison.
The UK's "red list" includes those in South America, large parts of southern Africa, Portugal and the United Arab Emirates.
Addressing the House of Commons on Wednesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson called the quarantine policy "measured" and "proportionate", but the opposition Labour Party considered it "too limited", as they advocate for a comprehensive system of quarantine for all arrivals.