From Monday, June 8, international travellers will have to quarantine for 14 days when arriving in the UK. Home Secretary Priti Patel said the requirements would present difficulties for the tourism industry but said they would be kept under regular review to ensure they remained “proportionate and necessary”. Ms Patel said the regulations would be reviewed every three weeks with the first review taking place in the week of June 28.
She said they were looking at measures that would allow greater freedom in future, including establishing “international travel corridors” with countries that were deemed safe.
The Home Secretary said: ”These measures are backed by the science, supported by the public, and essential to save lives.
“We know they will present difficulties for the tourism industry, but that’s why we have an unprecedented package of support, the most comprehensive in the world, for both employees and businesses.
“But we will all suffer if we get this wrong. That’s why it’s crucial that we introduce these measures now.”
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Ms Patel said the devolved administrations for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland would be laying their own regulations to set out their enforcement approaches.
She said: ”We trust the British people – and our visitors – to play their part, to act responsibly and follow the rules to control the spread of coronavirus.
“But we will not allow a reckless minority to put our recovery at risk – so there will be penalties and enforcement for those who break them.
Anyone who breaches the quarantine rules without a reasonable excuse, “wilfully obstructs” anyone carrying out their job or “intentionally or recklessly provides false or misleading passenger information” is committing an offence.
Those who flout the rules could be fined or prosecuted, the Home Secretary noted.
Fixed-penalty notices for breaches deemed “information” offences start at £100, with the number doubling each time to a maximum of £3,200 for the sixth incident and could be issued by immigration officers as well as police.
For wilfully obstructing someone’s work to enforce the rules, the fine is £1,000.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson defended the decision to impose a quarantine on new entrants to the UK amid disquiet on the Tory backbenches on the restriction.
Mr Johnson told Wednesday’s Downing Street briefing: “Once community transmission was widespread within the UK, cases from abroad made up a tiny proportion of the total.
“At the same time you will remember international travel plummeted as countries around the world went into lockdown. As a result measures at the border were halted because they made little difference at the time in our fight against the virus.
“Now that we’re getting the virus under control in the UK, there is a risk that cases from abroad begin once again to make up a greater proportion of overall cases. We therefore need to take steps now to manage that risk of these imported cases triggering a second peak.”
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What are the rules when arriving in the UK from abroad?
From June 8, there will be new rules in place for entering the UK because of coronavirus. The rules are for both residents and visitors.
When these rules are in place, you will:
- need to provide your journey and contact details when you travel to the UK
- not be allowed to leave the place you’re staying for the first 14 days you’re in the UK except in very limited situations (known as ‘self-isolating’)
The Government has warned: “Once the rules come into place you may be fined £100 if you refuse to provide your contact details in England, £1,000 if you refuse to self-isolate in England, or you could face further action.
“You’ll be able to find more information on enforcement measures in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland on this page soon.”
When you arrive in the UK, go straight to the place where you will self-isolate. Your friends or family can collect you from the airport, port or station.
Only use public transport if you have no other option and if you do – wear something that covers your nose and mouth and stay two metres apart from other people.
You must not leave the place you’re staying for 14 days.
You can only leave if:
- you need urgent medical treatment
- you need support from social services
- you need food and medicine and cannot get them delivered or get a friend or family member to bring them
- you’re going to the funeral of a close relative, or for other compassionate reasons
- there’s an emergency, for example there’s a fire at the place you’re staying
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