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Minister warns for those who break Covid quarantine could get 'criminal record'
28 August 2020, 09:09
Government Minister Grant Shapps has reminded people that breaking quarantine is a criminal offence and they could end up with a criminal record.
The reminder comes after it was announced that those arriving in England from the Czech Republic, Jamaica and Switzerland after 4am on Saturday will need to self-isolate for 14 days.
Officials say the decision to add the three countries to the quarantine list was based on a "significant increase in confirmed cases".
Asked about the case of an individual who attempted to board a flight despite having received a positive test result from NHS Test and Trace, Mr Shapps told LBC: "No if you've got the test, you need to stay home.
"You're not just doing this for yourself, you're doing it for those around you. Don't put other people's lives at risk. Not only that when you do that, you are committing offences as well.
"As with breaking a quarantine, if you come home from one of these countries that is quarantined, it is a criminal offence, it goes on your criminal record.
"You don't want to be in that position and the police have 4,000 cases of people who they are pursuing in various different ways.
"Don't break your quarantine and for goodness sake be sensible."
The Department for Transport (DfT) said equivalent quarantine measures are being put in place in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Reductions in coronavirus cases mean Cuba has been added to the destinations from which people can arrive in England or Wales without entering quarantine, while Wales has also removed the quarantine requirement for arrivals from Singapore.
Data shows the latest seven-day rates in the countries stand at 22.0 cases per 100,000 people in Switzerland; 20.2 per 100,000 in the Czech Republic 20.8 per 100,000 in Jamaica.
Last Thursday, Jamaica's rate was 4.3, meaning the 20.8 recorded on August 27 is equivalent to a 382% increase, said the DfT
The Foreign Office advises British nationals against "all but essential travel" to the countries on the quarantine list.