Covid police stop passengers at Bristol Airport to check if their journeys are essential

COVID cops are stopping passengers at Bristol Airport to check if their journeys are essential – after the Government made it illegal to go on hols.

Under coronavirus rules, Brits have to stay at home, with no travel permitted unless it's been given the green light under the law.

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And today, officers from Avon and Somerset Police were pictured checking up on would-be airline travellers.

It comes as ministers were forced to back the decision to delay their hotel quarantine plan until mid-February.

Under the scheme, people travelling to the UK face security guards on every floor – and will be cleaning their own toilet.

Inspector Chris Gresswell defended sending his officers to travel hubs.

"The purpose of that is for us to engage with passengers and to make sure that people understand the regulations," he said.

"We are not looking to trip people up, and enforcement is one of a number of options that are available to officers.

"We are looking to engage, explain and encourage people. That's what we are trying to achieve."

He said enforcement is "only one of the available options" for officers.

"We want people to make the right decision and adhere to the restrictions," Mr Gresswell said.

"In the vast majority of circumstances, that's what people are trying to do.

"There will be circumstances where someone is travelling because of a misunderstanding, and we would encourage them to return home and observe the regulations."

The cop spoke out amid delays to the hotel quarantine plan.

Foreign Office minister James Cleverly admitted the scheme is taking "time to prepare" – even though it was announced almost three weeks ago.

Countries on the UK’s ‘red list’

Passengers travelling to the UK from the following countries will be required to stay at a quarantine hotel.

  • Angola
  • Argentina
  • Bolivia
  • Botswana
  • Burundi
  • Brazil
  • Cape Verde
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Ecuador
  • Eswatini
  • French Guiana
  • Guyana
  • Lesotho
  • Malawi
  • Mauritius
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Portugal (including Madeira and the Azores)
  • Rwanda
  • Seychelles
  • South Africa
  • Suriname
  • Tanzania
  • UAE
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

Arrivals will have to stay in hotels for 11 nights at a cost of up to £1,000 per person, with the arrangements – the responsibility of Health Secretary Matt Hancock – lasting until at least March 31. 

The scheme is expected to finally go ahead on February 15.

The Government is racing to reserve 28,000 hotel rooms across the UK for the 1,500 passengers expected to arrive every day from 33 'red list' countries.

The rooms will reportedly have 'Government-approved' security guards to make sure quarantined people stick to their rooms.

Smokers will be escorted outside, the Mail reports.

And three meals a day will be delivered to the door, guests will be expected to clean up after themselves by cleaning bathrooms and changing their own sheets.

Meanwhile, ministers are reportedly thrashing out plans for 'vaccine passports', the Times reports.

It's understood the documents could be provided for British holidaymakers to prove they have been inoculated against coronavirus.  

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