People arriving in the UK from today (8 June) will be required to self-isolate for a fortnight as the government’s new quarantine measures come into effect.
Any passenger entering the country by plane, train or ferry will need to fill out a locator form (which includes personal details and the address of where they will self-isolate) or face a fixed fine of £100.
Arrivals that break quarantine measures can be hit with £1,000 penalties, whilst non-residents in the UK may be refused entry if they do not comply.
Surprise visits will be conducted to determine whether people are isolating.
Home Secretary Priti Patel, who is behind the quarantine plan, has said the move will help to protect public health.
However, the measures have been subject to intense criticism from hundreds of members of the travel industry – with the likes of British Airways, Ryanair and EasyJet even threatening legal action.
Airlines and travel companies are concerned the “ineffective” new laws will cause more damage to an industry that’s already on its knees after dealing with the huge blow of the coronavirus outbreak.
A number of people are exempt from the quarantine regulations, including:
- Road haulage and freight workers
- Essential healthcare providers
- People arriving for pre-arranged medical treatment
- Passengers in transit (if they do not pass through border control)
- Seasonal agricultural workers (if they self-isolate where they are working)
- UK residents who ordinarily travel overseas at least once a week for work
Arrivals from the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man do not have to enter quarantine, either.
Current rules will be reviewed in three weeks.
The government is also understood to be considering the future assembly of “air bridges” or “international travel corridors” with overseas nations that have low infection rates.
These agreements would ensure passengers could move freely between particular countries without having to enter self-isolation.
Airlines have announced their intention to increase flight schedules over summer; having introduced a variety of new safely measures on board to protect passengers during the pandemic such as masks and social distancing.