United Kingdom to introduce mandatory 14-day coronavirus quarantine for all worldwide travellers

Elias Hubbard
May 23, 2020

In France, however, visitors will be invited to voluntarily self-quarantine at home.

New arrivals to Britain must self-isolate for two weeks from June 8, with fines for anyone who breaches the measure created to prevent a second wave of coronavirus from overseas, Home Secretary Priti Patel said Friday.

Speaking at the daily briefing this afternoon, Home Secretary Priti Patel said the new measures will help "limit the spread of the virus at home", and is the government's way of taking steps against "imported cases", which "could begin to pose a larger, and increased threat".

The mandatory self-isolation would not apply to people coming from Ireland, medics tackling COVID-19 and seasonal agricultural workers, said Patel.

All worldwide arrivals, including returning Britons, will be required to self-isolate for 14 days and provide details of where they will be staying to the authorities.

That is bad news for those hoping for a foreign summer holiday.

She insisted the measure should not affect decisions about holiday bookings because the Government had already issued strict guidance against non-essential travel overseas.

Accommodation - Those not able to provide accommodation details may be offered accommodation by the government, at their own expense. They will also be "encouraged" to download a contact-tracing app that authorities are developing - if the glitch-filled app is ever put into use. A breach of self-isolation would be punishable with a £1,000 fixed penalty notice in England or potential prosecution and unlimited fine. That prompted a rebuke from the European Union, which wants a coordinated policy across the 27-nation bloc.

Spanish passengers arriving in France will be asked to quarantine for two weeks from Monday, it added.

"Introducing a quarantine at this stage makes no sense and will mean very limited global aviation at best", Tim Alderslade, chief executive of industry body Airlines UK, said.

"People who are coming to the United Kingdom will have to do quarantine", Mr Lewis told Sky News, saying the new rules would cover British citizens and those from elsewhere. But some regions are taking precautions to ensure that the sudden reopening doesn't create new infection clusters. They should not have visitors, including friends and family, unless they are providing essential support.

There have so far been no quarantine requirements for travellers from abroad, with the government saying it is deemed necessary only now as the rate of infection within the country is brought into control and there is a need to prevent a second wave of infections coming in from overseas.

There will be limited exemptions and a full list will be published on gov.uk. The list will be expanded to several more countries on June 20. The UK would seek to strike bilateral agreements with countries with low incidence of Covid-19 under which quarantine restrictions could be waived.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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