Coronavirus: 14-day quarantine for travellers arriving in UK from 8 June

James MorrisSenior news reporter, Yahoo News UK
Yahoo News UK
Priti Patel has announced two-week quarantines will be imposed on new arrivals to the UK from June 8.
Priti Patel has announced two-week quarantines will be imposed on new arrivals to the UK from June 8.

Two-week quarantines will be imposed on new arrivals to the UK from 8 June, with a fine for anyone who breaches the rules.

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Home secretary Priti Patel announced the policy on Friday as part of a government plan to prevent new waves of coronavirus from overseas.

Patel said: “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.”

Under the rules:

  • Breaches will be punishable with a £1,000 fixed penalty notice in England, or prosecution with an unlimited fine. Devolved nations can set out their own enforcement approaches

  • If a passenger’s accommodation does not meet necessary requirements – with hotels or staying with friends and family listed as suitable options – they will have to self-isolate in hotel accommodation arranged by the government

  • People will have to fill in a form providing their contact and travel details so they can be traced if infections arise, and can be contacted regularly during the 14 days to ensure their compliance

  • Those exempt from the measures will include anyone moving from Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man; road haulage and freight workers; medical professionals travelling to help the coronavirus effort; and seasonal agricultural workers who will self-isolate on the property they are working

Passengers at Heathrow Airport on Friday. (TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
Passengers at Heathrow Airport on Friday. (TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)

A snap YouGov poll suggested an overwhelming majority of Brits are in favour of the fines.

Of 3,710 adults surveyed, 80% supported the measure, with 59% “strongly supporting” and 21% “somewhat supporting” it.

(YouGov)
(YouGov)

Patel said: “As the world begins to emerge from what we hope is the worst of the coronavirus pandemic, we must look to the future and protect the British public by reducing the risk of cases crossing our border.

“We are introducing these new measures now to keep the transmission rate down and prevent a devastating second wave.”

However, it came after a member of the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) claimed a 14-day quarantine would be ineffective.

Prof John Edmunds had told LBC earlier on Friday: "Quarantining people coming into the country really matters when or if we get our incidence really low, so if our incidence is much lower than other countries then it makes some sense to do that.

"As it is, our incidence is actually quite high, so people coming into the country are unlikely to cause much of a problem at the moment."

Border Force will be able to refuse entry to foreign citizens who are not UK residents during border checks, while removal from the country could be used as a last resort, the Home Office said.

Anyone arriving by air, sea or rail will be advised to use personal transport to head to their accommodation, and once there not leave for 14 days.

They will not be allowed to accept visitors, unless they are providing essential support, and should not go out to buy food or other essentials “where they can rely on others”.

Officials added people the new entrant is staying with will not need to quarantine, but that they should avoid contact with each other where possible.

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