The Home Secretary has announced that quarantine measures will be imposed on new arrivals to the UK from 8 June, with fines for anyone breaching the measures.
Under the measures, people will be told to self-isolate on their arrival into the UK, and anyone in England breaching the measures will face a fine of £1,000 or potential prosecution. Passengers will also be asked to fill in a form providing their contact and travel information so that they can be traced if COVID-19 infections arise. Anyone refusing to complete the ‘contact locator form’ will face a £100 fine.
Speaking at the UK Government’s daily Coronavirus press conference on Friday, Priti Patel said the government will be “unafraid” to increase punishments for breaking the quarantine rules if it becomes necessary. Foreign nationals who refuse to comply with the measures, may as a last resort, be considered for deportation. Patel said;
“We are introducing these new measures now to keep the transmission rate down and prevent a devastating second wave,”
“I fully expect the majority of people will do the right thing and abide by these measures. But we will take enforcement action against the minority of people who endanger the safety of others.”
The measures are designed to prevent a new wave of Coronavirus infections coming in from overseas. The measures, which will apply across the whole of the UK, are to be reviewed every three weeks, the government has said.
A small number of people working in sectors such as road haulage and health will be exempt from the measures, as will people moving within the UK’s Common Travel Area with Ireland
Arrivals into the UK will be asked to tell officials where they will be self-isolating. If the location does not meet ‘necessary requirements’, people will be required to self-isolate in government-arranged facilities. It is understood that spot-checks will be carried out to ensure that people are self-isolating as per the guidelines.
The UK government first announced it was planning for quarantine measures earlier this month. Some countries have had similar quarantine measures in place since March and some are now starting to ease some restrictions.
The news of the quarantine measures may dampen the hopes of some Britons hoping to travel on holiday in the coming weeks and months. Airlines have previously warned that quarantine-type measures for arrivals could significantly reduce the demand for air travel, potentially harming both airlines and the economy.
Photo Credit: Andrew Parsons / No 10 Downing Street under licence (CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0)