Fines of up to £10,000 and prison sentences are in store for people who fail to abide by new quarantine guidelines when travelling from red list countries, the government has warned.
Starting February 15, travellers returning from the 33 red list countries will need to pay £1,750 for a quarantine package which includes staying in a hotel for 10 days.
Enhanced testing will also come into force next week with those arriving from all countries being required to take a PCR test on days two and eight once they have arrived in the county during their 10-day quarantine.
Red list countries include places with new COVID-19 mutations and their neighbours, such as Brazil, Argentina, Portugal, South Africa and United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned if anyone is found to be lying on their passenger form about the red list country they have visited, they would face up to 10 years in prison.
There will be a £1,000 penalty for any international arrival who fails to take a mandatory test, a £2,000 penalty to any arrival who fails to take the second mandatory test, and a £5,000 fixed penalty notice, rising to £10,000 for arrivals who fail to quarantine in a hotel.
Hotels and tests will need to be booked online before departure to the UK and those travelling from a non-red list country can self-isolate at home.
Mr Hancock said: “I make no apologies for the strength of these measures, because we’re dealing with one of the strongest threats to our public health that we’ve faced as a nation.”