All UK international arrivals must self-isolate for 14 days. (Photo courtesy Stuart Bailey for British Airways).
The United Kingdom will be introducing a mandatory quarantine for all international arrivals, including returning Britons, from June 8. Anyone breaking the rules will face a fine or prosecution.
“Now we are past the peak of this virus, we must take steps to guard against imported cases triggering a resurgence of this deadly disease,” said British interior minister Priti Patel.
She added, “We are not shutting down completely. We are not closing our borders.”
From June 8, all travellers will be asked to fill-in an online form providing journey and contact details before they travel. This includes those entering the UK by plane, train or boat.
Those travelling from the Republic of Ireland, Channel Islands or the Isle of Man, as well as freight drivers, medical professionals or seasonal agricultural workers, will be exempt.
On arrival, travellers will be required to self-isolate for 14 days. This can be in their home, in the home of friends or family, or in a hotel or guest house.
For those staying with family or friends, they should avoid contact with their hosts for the full two weeks. Those staying in a hotel or guest house will not be permitted to use shared areas such as bars, restaurants, health clubs or sports facilities.
Friends and family are allowed to collect incoming passengers from the airport, port or station. Public transport should only be used if there is no other option.
Travellers should then not leave the place they are staying for two weeks.
However, there are exceptions, including receiving urgent medical treatment or support from social services, obtaining food and medicine that cannot be delivered by a friend or family member, attending the funeral of a close relative or for other compassionate reasons, or in the case of emergency, such as a fire breaking out in the place of residence. No visitors will be allowed unless they are providing essential care. Spot checks will be carried out by health and border officials.
In addition to the UK, all travellers arriving in the Republic of Ireland from May 28 will be legally required to inform the government where they will be quarantining for 14 days. From May 28 until at least June 18, travellers will be legally required to complete a form noting where they will self-isolate for two weeks. Failure to comply will carry a penalty of up to 2,500 Euros and/or up to six months’ imprisonment.
“These are extraordinary measures but they are necessary in a time of a public health crisis,” said minister for health, Simon Harris.