At today’s Downing Street press briefing, Priti Patel, the UK’s home secretary announced quarantine measures set to be introduced at the country’s border to protect against a second wave of COVID-19.
The home secretary said that anyone entering the UK from June 8, will have to isolate for 14 days. Upon entry, travellers will be required to fill in a “contact locator form” and failing to do so could result in a £100 fine. Anyone breaching the quarantine rules could face a fine of up to £1000.
Patel said that public health authorities will be conducting random checks to ensure compliance and that people could be contacted on a regular basis.
There will be announcements on inbound flights and posters at airports to notify passengers of the arrangements.
Karen Dee, chief executive of the Airport Operators Association commented: “We are disappointed that the government has decided to go ahead with a simplistic, blanket approach to quarantining all arrivals, without any consultation with industry. This threatens to have very serious economic and social consequences, not just in aviation but in all sectors relying on aviation connectivity, without resulting in notably better public health outcomes than a more targeted approach. This must be reviewed more frequently than every three weeks.”
Earlier this week, Michael O’Leary the CEO of Ryanair called the plans “idiotic”, saying they would be ineffective at stopping the spread of COVID-19.
Willie Walsh, the boss of British Airways’ parent company, IAG said that implementing such policy would “definitely make [the situation] worse” after the flag carrier announced plans for a “meaningful return to service in July”.
At the briefing, Paul Lincoln, the director general of the Border Force said that the rules would be “strictly” enforced.