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Sun, 31 May 2020

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Coronavirus: People arriving in UK must spend two weeks in quarantine or face £1,000 fine

Coronavirus: People arriving in UK must spend two weeks in quarantine or face £1,000 fine

Those arriving on the UK will have to self-isolate for two weeks (PA)

3 min read

People arriving in the UK must spend two weeks in quarantine or face fines of £1,000 to prevent new coronavirus cases from entering the country.

The Home Secretary Priti Patel announced that mandatory self-isolation will apply to all those coming to Britain, barring a few exceptions, from June 8.

Passengers will have to complete a ‘contact locator form’ so they can be traced if they, or someone they may have been in contact with, develops the disease.

They could be contacted regularly during the 14 days spent in quarantine and face random checks from public health authorities to make sure they are sticking to the rules.

Once they touch down in the UK people are advised to use personal transport to head to their place of accommodation, where they cannot accept visitors, unless they are providing essential support.

They are also advised not to go out to buy food or other essentials "where they can rely on others”.

If they are staying with someone who lives here, then that person would not need to quarantine, but are told to avoid contact with them where possible.

And the Home Office said if their accommodation does not meet necessary requirements then they will have to self-isolate in hotel accommodation arranged by the Government.

Breaches of the rules would be punishable with a £1,000 fixed penalty notice, or prosecution with an unlimited fine, and removal from the country could also be used as a last resort.

The rules apply to those arriving either by air, sea or rail, but people coming from Ireland, medics tackling Covid-19, road hauliers and seasonal agricultural workers are among the list of exemptions.

Ms 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.

"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 announcement is likely to spark anger from the aviation industry, who have warned such a measure will heap further pressure on sector already hard-hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

But Home Office chief scientific adviser Professor John Aston said: "As the number of infections within the UK drops, we must now manage the risk of transmissions being reintroduced from elsewhere."

In response to the announcement shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds 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.”

He added: “It is vital that these measures are only in place for as long as strictly necessary, and are regularly reviewed. 

“This all shows how urgent the need is to have an effective test, trace and isolate system in place which should enable smarter restrictions going forward and prevent a second wave of infection."

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