Travellers returning to the UK from “red list” countries will be sent to quarantine hotels for 10 days, Boris Johnson has announced.
The British prime minister told the Commons that passengers will be “met at the airport and transported directly into quarantine”.
A travel industry source said that the list of destinations this will apply to includes all of South America, southern Africa and Portugal.
Kenya, Ethiopia, the United Arab Emirates and Nigeria could also be added.
Further details on the quarantine hotels policy will be set out by UK home secretary Priti Patel shortly.
Leisure travel ban
Mr Johnson also revealed that the UK’s ban on leisure travel will be enforced at airports and ports.
He said: “I want to make clear that, under the stay-at-home regulations, it is illegal to leave home to travel abroad for leisure purposes and we will enforce this at ports and airports by asking people why they are leaving and instructing them to return home if they do not have a valid reason to travel.”
It is understood that airlines will be told to quiz people about their reason for travel before allowing them to board flights.
Firms will face being fined if they fail to do this.
Airline bosses are demanding that the UK government provides an “urgent road map for the reopening of air travel”.
The chief executives of British Airways, easyJet and Virgin Atlantic were among those calling for the government to publish a plan that “draws upon the tools available now to us, including testing, working in concert with vaccine rollout at home and internationally”.
They added: “The time has now come for a bespoke support package that can get UK airlines through this crisis.”