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Home / World News / UK arrivals to face $1,200 fines for breaking coronavirus quarantine

UK arrivals to face $1,200 fines for breaking coronavirus quarantine

The plan, which will take effect from June 8, is designed to stop travelers bringing coronavirus into the country after becoming infected overseas, and is likely to have a major impact on the aviation industry’s attempts to recover after the lockdown.

world Updated: May 22, 2020 23:01 IST
Bloomberg
Bloomberg
A British Airways passenger plane comes in to land at London Heathrow airport, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), London, Britain.
A British Airways passenger plane comes in to land at London Heathrow airport, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), London, Britain.(REUTERS)

Passengers arriving in the U.K. will be forced into quarantine for two weeks and face fines of 1,000 pounds ($1,200) if they break the rules.

The plan, which will take effect from June 8, is designed to stop travelers bringing coronavirus into the country after becoming infected overseas, and is likely to have a major impact on the aviation industry’s attempts to recover after the lockdown.

Home Secretary Priti Patel set out the details of the new quarantine system at the daily government press conference on Friday. The measures will be reviewed every three weeks, along with the rest of the government’s coronavirus response.

“As we are taking this action, we’re taking it at a time when it will be most effective,” Patel said. “Now we are past the peak of this virus, we must take steps to guard against imported cases.”

Spot checks will be carried out to ensure people are complying with the rules, she said. Patel said there would be a small list of exceptions. They include freight drivers, health staff and foreign officials such as the French police, according to Paul Lincoln, director general of Border Force.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said on Monday that ministers are considering “air bridges” to allow quarantine-free travel to and from countries where virus infection rates are low -- but Patel made no mention of this in her opening statement.

“Introducing a quarantine at this stage makes no sense and will mean very limited international aviation at best,” said Tim Alderslade, chief executive officer of industry lobby group Airlines U.K. “It is just about the worst thing government could do if their aim is to restart the economy.”

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