Hotels across the country have been asked to prepare for an onslaught of passengers as rooms are block-booked ahead of the government’s quarantine scheme.

According to the Telegraph, ministers are racing to reserve 28,000 hotel rooms across the UK by 5pm today (5 February), and hotel bosses have been asked to prepare for 1,425 passengers a day from 15 February.

Travellers arriving from 33 ‘red list’ countries – including South America, Southern Africa, the UAE and Portugal – will be required to hotel quarantine for 10 nights at a cost of £800 per person.

Government is expected to pay businesses the £55 million bill up front, before recouping the money from passengers.

Security guards will be posted at all floors of the hotels and guests will be expected to clean their own rooms, though the hotels will be asked to provide three meals a day and seven items of laundry for unprepared guests.

The government said it is working “at pace” to secure the rooms and has had discussions with more than 60 companies in the hotel and travel industries.