United Kingdom to introduce quarantine for global arrivals from 8 June

Video Matt Vickers MP / Twitter

Video Matt Vickers MP / Twitter

Travellers arriving in the United Kingdom from 8 June will have to tell the authorities where they will be staying and face spot checks to ensure they quarantine themselves for fourteen days, the home secretary, Priti Patel, has confirmed.

Exemptions for road hauliers and medical officials will apply, while the common travel area with Ireland will be unaffected.

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

The British proposals are expected to apply to both foreign travellers and Britons returning from overseas.

Britain later said France would not be exempt.

All global 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.

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

"We are not shutting down completely. We want to avoid a second wave and that is absolutely vital".

Ministers will review the rule every three weeks.

Victoria Bacon from ABTA, the travel industry trade body, told the BBC the government needs to come up with some "wider, more forward thinking" strategies for the industry.

He said: "The reality is, we are saying to people If you are going overseas, you need to look at the fact you may well need to quarantine when you come back".

In England, a breach of self-isolation would be punishable by a £1,000 fixed penalty notice, or prosecution and an unlimited fine for persistent offenders.

During the period of self-isolation the arrivals will not be allowed to accept visitors, unless they are providing essential support, and they should not go out to buy food or other essentials "where they can rely on others." .

Spot checks - The Border Force will undertake checks at the border and may refuse entry to any non-British citizen who refuses to comply with these regulations and is not resident in the UK.

The government argues that it simply wouldn't have made enough of a difference while the virus was spreading widely within the UK.

Several exceptions to the quarantine rule exist in France, including travellers in transit towards a third country, airline crew, long haul truck drivers, seasonal workers from border countries and those with important family reasons (funeral, joint custody).

But in announcing the measures on Friday Ireland was the only country granted an exemption.

She said: "It is to protect that hard-won progress and prevent a devastating resurgence in a second wave of the virus".

The reason given for the measure is that as the transmission rate in the UK falls and the number of travellers arriving in the UK begins to increase in the coming months, imported cases may pose a larger threat as they could become a higher proportion of the overall number of infections in the UK and so increase the spread of the disease.

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