Nine out of 10 back hotel quarantine for travellers

Latest research suggests overwhelming public support for the quarantine of international travellers in hotels, but most UK adults think the government’s limited hotel quarantine regime does not go far enough.

A poll by online research firm YouGov yesterday surveyed more than 5,450 UK adults and found nine out of ten (90%) back hotel quarantine for arrivals to the UK, with just 5% believing hotel quarantine should not be imposed.

However, 72% wanted hotel quarantine for all arrivals to the UK, with fewer than one in five (18%) saying hotel quarantine for arrivals from ‘red list’ countries alone was sufficient. An additional 5% said they did not know.

A breakdown of the results by age, region and social class reveals limited variation in the results.

Almost nine out of 10 respondents in all regions favour quarantine for travellers, but Londoners showed the highest level of support for the current more-limited regime in England at 26% compared with 61% in the capital who supported hotel quarantine for all arrivals.

In Scotland, 74% backed hotel quarantine for all – the policy of the Scottish government – and 15% a regime limited to arrivals from higher-risk countries.

There was little difference in response by age. Four out of five younger adults aged 18-24 backed hotel quarantine (83%), with two-thirds (66%) believing it should apply to all travellers and just 6% opposed.

All other age groups showed stronger support for applying hotel quarantine across the board.

Similarly, just 4% of adults in better off households were opposed to hotel quarantine, and 5% among those worse off.

An earlier YouGov poll found somewhat lower levels of support but still majority backing for the most-harsh aspects of the hotel quarantine regime.

Almost two-thirds (64%) backed the government’s threat of up to ten years in jail for travellers convicted of deliberately lying on a passenger locator form to avoid quarantine.

Half (51%) said the punishment was “about right” and 13% “not harsh enough”, but 30% thought it “too harsh”.

The government currently insists arrivals to England from 33 ‘red list’ countries must quarantine in a hotel for 10 days at the own expense, paying £1,750 for the accommodation and for Covid-19 tests.

YouGov also found considerable support for maintaining Covid-19 controls such as social distancing and compulsory face masks throughout the summer.

There quarters (76%) of a poll of 5,400 UK adults said they support the maintenance of controls until at least August. One in five (18%) were opposed.

A poll by YouGov last week found just one in 20 UK adults are now confident they will be able to take a holiday abroad this summer.

More than four out five (83%) said they were not confident.

YouGov surveyed 5,454 UK adults on their attitudes to hotel quarantine for travellers on February 17.

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