Tough new restrictions
Travellers face 14-day quarantine or £1,000 fine
Spot checks will take place to ensure compliance (pic: Terry Murden)
Passengers arriving into the UK will have to go into a 14 day quarantine, the Home Secretary Priti Patel has confirmed.
The new restriction will come into force on 8 June and will be reviewed every three weeks.
Anyone arriving in the UK from abroad could be fined £1,000 if they fail to self-isolate, though critics say the policy will be hard to police. There is a £100 fine for failing to fill in a required form.
Ms Patel said spot checks will take place to ensure compliance.
The new rules to help head off a potential second wave of Covid-19 will also apply to British people returning from abroad.
Those arriving from the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man will be exempt. Others excluded from the new ruling include road haulage, medical and seasonal agricultural workers.
People going into self-isolation will be encouraged to download the NHS Covid-19 app at the border and will not:
– use public transport
– leave their residence for 14 days
– go to work, school or visit public areas
– have friends or family to stay or visit, except to provide essential support
– go out to shop where they can rely on others.
Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary has dismissed the idea as “ridiculous”. His airline has announced plans to restart 1,000 flights a day in July, while easyJet has said flights will resume next month. Jet2 will also operate flights from July.
Some airlines and tourism businesses say the quarantine measure may kill some businesses. Government advice remains that people should not book non-essential travel.
Supporters of the quarantine say it should have been introduced earlier. Countries that brought in early travel bans have had among the lowest number of victims.
CBI chief UK policy director Matthew Fell said: “Like all countries, the UK must be guided by the science and have a health first approach because we cannot risk a second wave of the virus.
It’s welcome that the government will keep the policy under regular review– Matthew Fell, CBI
“Quarantine will have a significant impact across a number of sectors, so it’s welcome that the government will keep the policy under regular review.
“Businesses are keen to work with government on a robust, internationally-coordinated plan to get passengers flying safely as soon as possible, including through innovative solutions such as the establishment of Air Bridges.
“Airlines and airports are critical hubs for regional and national prosperity and will have a key role to play in the economic recovery.”