Quarantine for new arrivals to be imposed


From 8 June, people arriving in the UK must self-isolate for 14 days to help slow the spread of coronavirus, the government has announced.

The Government made the announcement late last week and said the measures would be enforced through random spot checks and £1,000 fines in England. The level of fine could increase 'as the risk of infection from abroad increases'.

Ministers and government scientific advisers had previously said that due to levels of infection in the UK and the time it took to show symptoms, quarantine rules would be of little use.

Passengers will need to tell the government where they will quarantine. The Home Office said the proposed accommodation will need to meet necessary requirements, such as a hotel or a private address with friends or family.

The Home Office said in a statement: 'Anyone failing to comply with the mandatory conditions may face enforcement action. A breach of self-isolation would be punishable with a £1,000 fixed penalty notice in England or potential prosecution and unlimited fine. 

'All arriving passengers will be required to fill this in to provide contact and travel information so they can be contacted if they, or someone they may have been in contact with develops the disease.

'Border Force will undertake checks at the border and may refuse entry to any non-British citizen who refuses to comply with these regulations and isn’t resident in the UK. Failure to complete the form is also punishable by a £100 fixed penalty notice.'

Lorry drivers, seasonal farm workers, and coronavirus medics will be exempt, however.

The requirement will also not apply to those travelling from the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

If a person does not have suitable accommodation to go to, they will be required to stay in 'facilities arranged by the government' at the person's own expense, according to Border Force chief Paul Lincoln.

How the UK policy is enforced in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be determined by the devolved administrations.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said discussions would take place with Police Scotland to work out how the policy will be implemented.

Arrivals will to told to avoid public transport and travel to their accommodation by car 'where possible', and not to go out to buy food or other essentials 'where they can rely on others'.

Nick Thomas-Symonds MP, Labour’s shadow home secretary, said: 'Labour supports these measures but is clear they are no substitute for a long-term, well thought through approach.

'The Government’s handling of arrivals into the UK has lacked urgency, coherence and clarity from the outset. If quarantine is needed, it should not have taken so long for measures to be introduced. Too little thought has been given to testing and screening at airports. Far greater transparency is needed and the scientific evidence underpinning this decision should be made public.'

The measures will be reviewed every three weeks.

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