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Travellers arriving into UK must self-isolate for 14 days from 8 June
22 May 2020, 17:15
Anyone travelling into the UK must self-isolate for 14 days from June or face a £1,000 fine, Priti Patel has announced.
The Home Secretary said she was imposing quarantine plans for new arrivals at the time "it will be the most effective".
But she said the mandatory self-isolation period would not apply to those coming in from the Republic of Ireland, medics who are coming to help tackle the pandemic and agricultural workers.
It is understood those arriving from the common travel area - ie the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, and the Republic of Ireland - will not be asked to self-isolate.
Ms Patel told the daily Downing Street press conference: "The answer as to why we're bringing in these measures now is simple: It is to protect that hard-won progress and prevent a devastating resurgence in a second wave of the virus."
She added that passenger arrivals have been down 99% compared to the previous year but now the peak has passed, steps to "guard against imported cases" must be imposed.
There had been hopes that France could have also been included in a scheme which would mean those travelling into the UK would not have to quarantine, but Ms Patel said this was not the case as of yet, but would be "under review".
Paul Lincoln, Border Force director general, said spot checks would be carried out on the accuracy of quarantine forms of those arriving into the UK from abroad.
He said: "At the border there will be spot checks conducted by Border Force officers.
"Any obvious errors will trigger a requirement for the passenger to complete another form or potentially be refused entry into the UK."
He said the Border Force expected most people to comply with the measures but the agency was ready to act in cases where the rules were not followed.
"Given the high levels of compliance to date, we expect the vast majority of people will take this seriously and do the right thing," Mr Lincoln added.
"We will, however, take enforcement action against a small minority of people who may disregard these actions and therefore further endanger people's lives."
But airline chiefs have warned the new measures being brought in could "kill off" the aviation industry.
The boss of Heathrow airport, John Holland-Kaye said today that the proposals will "kill off"aviation for as long as they are in place.
A spokesperson for Virgin Atlantic said: "By introducing a mandatory 14-day self-isolation for every single traveller entering the UK, the Government's approach will prevent flights from resuming."
The airline said with proposed restrictions there "simply won't be sufficient demand to resume passenger services before August at the earliest."
More to follow...