BRITS face being trapped abroad in hotel rooms for two weeks if they test positive for Covid.
New laws introduced this week will force travellers to show a negative test up to 72 hours before they board a plane, boat or train to Britain.
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The new law means Brits who test positive for the virus at the end of their trip abroad must then follow the country’s quarantine rules – which in countries including Italy, Spain and Dubai could mean up to a fortnight confined to a hotel room.
An estimated 100,000 Britons are currently abroad and will now face a scramble to find Covid tests overseas before returning home.
Travel expert Alex Macheras told The Mail on Sunday: “People need to remember that if you test positive in a foreign country then they will be bound by their local laws and may have to quarantine for up to two weeks.”
In Italy, all travellers must test negative twice for Covid before they are allowed out of the two-week quarantine.
Similarly, Dubai has a two-week isolation order for those who have tested positive.
Spain, which has already banned Brits from flying there due to the UK's mutant Covid strain – but those who are already in the country are allowed to fly to the UK if they have a negative test.
Otherwise, the travellers will have to be confined to their hotel room or accommodation for 14 days.
Mr Macheras added: “If people are travelling in a global pandemic then they have to accept there’s going to be disruption and your trip could end up being much longer than you planned.”
The new rules will kick in from Thursday, meaning travellers will have to prove they have tested negative for Covid up to 72 hours before they travel – or face a £500 fine.
The latest law has raised fears travellers could be forced to pay hundreds for expensive tests at both the beginning and the end of their journey – stopping many families from heading on holiday.
To help encourage families, travel companies such as Thomas Cook are believed to be considering offering tests as part of package holidays.
‘Gold-standard’ PCR swabs can cost between £80 to £300 for same day results, with the cheapest rapid tests costing £30.
The news comes as top bosses at British Airways, easyJet, Virgin Atlantic and Heathrow airport called for the UK government to implement testing before departure flights as the standard procedure in the UK to end the 10-day quarantine.
Airport chiefs say getting rid of quarantine restrictions will help reboot international travel.
But for now, international travellers will still have to quarantine on their return – even if they test negative for the virus.
This is because it can take multiple days to develop symptoms after you have been exposed to the virus.
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