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Police patrols ramped up to enforce quarantine for international travellers
12 February 2021, 00:01
Police patrols across airports and ports will be ramped up as strict hotel quarantine rules come into force for people arriving into England, Priti Patel has announced.
From Monday, UK nationals or residents returning from 33 "red list" countries will be required to spend 10 days in a Government-designated hotel.
Those who fail to follow the rules face fines of up to £10,000, and anyone who lies on their passenger locator forms face up to 10 years in jail.
The Home Secretary announced more police would be deployed to check the reason for passenger journeys and to help "ensure compliance of arrivals from red-list countries who will be part of the mandatory quarantine scheme".
It comes as she pledged £60 million to police forces in England and Wales to cover the extra costs of enforcing coronavirus pandemic rules.
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Forces will be reimbursed for costs they have already incurred as a result of their additional duties and also fund fresh enforcement action planned at airports and ports.
Most of the cash (£58 million) will pay for things like officer overtime and making police stations Covid-secure.
The remaining £2 million will be shared between forces tasked with having an "increased presence and enforcement of regulations at airports and ports, to ensure travellers are complying with the new border health measures" and should cover costs of the extra police activity to the end of March, according to the Home Office.
Ms Patel said: "Our police officers have worked tirelessly to keep the country's streets safe while enforcing the coronavirus regulations to protect the NHS and save lives.
"The public also have a vital part to play - this includes not travelling unless essential, which is why police will also be stepping up checks at airports.
"We are committed to supporting them as they continue this crucial activity and are providing specific funding for coronavirus costs."