Downing Street has revealed that, beginning June 1, those arriving in the United Kingdom, including Britons returning from abroad, must self-isolate for a minimum of 14 days, as part of the country’s efforts to lessen the likelihood of a second wave of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The UK government is expected to strengthen its 14-day quarantine policy for those arriving or returning to the country following the end of the current coronavirus lockdown. The adjustment suggests that travelers who do not comply with the quarantine rules will face a £1,000 fine, according to Sky News.
The new measure will reportedly be announced on Friday by UK Home Secretary Priti Patel at the 10 Downing Street briefing and will go into force in June.
On 10 May, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, while detailing plans by his government to gradually ease the commonwealth’s COVID-19 lockdown measures, said that the UK will “impose quarantine on people coming into this country by air”.
According to the new policy, travelers will be obliged to fill out a digital form that includes the address of where they will spend their quarantine period. Authorities will reportedly check those addresses regularly, and a breach of quarantine could lead to a £1,000 fine, or even deportation in some cases.
The new quarantine measures have been criticized by a number of national airlines.
The head of low-budget carrier Ryanair, Michael O’Leary, characterized the health measure as “idiotic” and “unimplementable”, while Airline UK said that the measure “would effectively kill” international travel to and from the country and result in “immeasurable damage to the aviation industry and wider UK economy”.
As of Thursday, the UK has registered over 252,200 cases COVID-19 infections, of which 36,124 have died.