United Kingdom to apply quarantine to travelers overseas
United Kingdom to apply quarantine to travelers overseas
SAGE member pours cold water on government plans to quarantine people coming to UK
22 May, 2020, 23:11
Home Secretary Priti Patel will set out details of the measures, which have already sparked confusion and criticism from airlines, airports and lockdown-weary Britons wondering whether they will get to take a vacation overseas this summer.
"As the number of infections within the United Kingdom drops, we must now manage the risk of transmissions being reintroduced from elsewhere", he added.
Chairing the Downing Street briefing, Patel said passengers will need to provide their contact and travel information so they can be traced if infections arise.
They could also be contacted regularly over the 14-day period to ensure they are complying.
Fines of £1,000 (1,100 euros) would be handed out to those breaking the restrictions.
That has led to accusations that Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government had been far too slow to act, but it now also faces criticism over plans to bring in the quarantine.
As part of the coronavirus de-escalation started last week in England, because Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland established their own schedules, English citizens can stay out of homes as long as they want to do physical exercises, sunbath, meet a friend in the park, play sports or visit national beaches and parks.
Road haulage and freight workers; medical professionals travelling to help the coronavirus effort; anyone moving from within the common travel area covering Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man; seasonal agricultural workers who will self-isolate on the property where they are working.
Refusal to hand over personal details once fined could lead to arrest and foreign visitors who refuse to fill in the forms could be denied entry to the UK.
They will be told to avoid public transport and travel to their accommodation by vehicle "where possible", and not to go out to buy food or other essentials "where they can rely on others".
The arrangements are due to come into effect on 8 June.
All worldwide arrivals, including returning Britons, will have to self-isolate for 14 days and provide details of where they will be staying under the plans, which were criticised by airlines, business groups and politicians alike.
The Home Secretary pledged to have a "plethora of tools" to re-open the borders in a "safe and sensible way, ' as she pledged reviews of the measures every three weeks".
During the period of self-isolation the arrivals will not be allowed to accept visitors, unless they are providing essential support, and they should not go out to buy food or other essentials "where they can rely on others." .
There will be limited exemptions to the arrivals quarantine and a full list will be published soon on Gov.uk. Britain has said it is considering the idea, but Italy has condemned it, fearing it will exclude the country, which has seen more than 32,000 COVID-19 deaths.
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