A BASINGSTOKE hotel is set to be closed to the public and turned into a quarantine facility for travellers coming to the UK from red list countries, it has been revealed.

Crowne Plaza Basingstoke, an IHG Hotel at Black Dam in Old Common Road, is set to be converted into a quarantine hotel after the hospitality chain signed an exclusive contract with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

The hotel will close for the public on Sunday, July 25.

The official announcement to convert the hotel into a quarantine location is expected to come after the DHSC completes its checks at the property for safety and facilities.

It is expected the hotel will remain closed to the wider public until the end of the year.

Crowne Plaza is currently contacting the people who have already booked rooms and events for dates from July 26 to cancel their bookings and refund the deposits.

A spokesperson for Crowne Plaza said: “We're unable to share any comment as the approach to quarantine and hotel selection is a matter for the DHSC.”

However, a receptionist at Crowne Plaza confirmed that they have an "exclusive contract with the Department for Health and Social Care” and will be closing to the public until the end of the year.

The receptionist also confirmed that they will be completely closed from July 25 to the end of the year.

A senior source has also told The Gazette that the hotel had been nominated as a quarantine location, and it was undergoing checks before it is officially confirmed.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said they cannot reveal the names of government-contracted hotels or the number of hotels contracted in any given area, but did not deny that the Crowne Plaza would be one of them.

They told the Gazette: “Our top priority is protecting the public and our robust border regime is helping minimise the risk of new variants imported into the UK.

“The government continues to work to ensure we have enough hotel capacity available to meet demand from red list country arrivals and we have ongoing agreements with a number of hotels moving into the summer.”

The spokesperson added that the DHSC continues to expand the Managed Quarantine Service (MQS) to provide enough hotel capacity to ensure British citizens and residents are able to exercise their right to return from a red list country, and closely monitor availability with more rooms are being obtained as needed.

If more countries are added to the red list, and passenger numbers from red list countries continue to increase, they have extensive contingency plans dependent on the changing situation, the spokesperson added.

The DHSC has signed up with external agencies including G4S to work as guards at quarantine locations.

According to government website, the rate for one adult to stay in one room for quarantine for 11 nights is £1,750. Additional rate for one adult (or child over 11) is £650. Additional rate for a child aged 5 to 11 is £325.

The Government has classified countries as red, amber and green for countries from where travellers can come to the UK.

Those coming from a country or territory on the red list must stay at a quarantine location for 10 days.

Recently a quarantine hotel in Reading was closed after a Delta-variant Covid outbreak at the property.

The PentaHotel in Reading ceased as a quarantine site at the end of June after coronavirus spread between residents, staff and the community.

Has any of your bookings or events been cancelled by Crowne Plaza in the past few days? We would like to hear from you. Please write to us at kiran.sajan@basingstokegazette.co.uk.