United Kingdom to start 2-week worldwide arrivals quarantine

Video Matt Vickers MP / Twitter

People arriving in the United Kingdom will have to quarantine themselves for 14 days and could be fined 1,000 pounds ($1,220) if they fail to comply under a plan being announced Friday by the British government.

Spain and Italy have introduced rules that mean global arrivals must self-isolate for two weeks, while on Friday Ireland gave further details for its own quarantine proposals.

Much of the population, especially the members of the education workers union and the parents of students, are opposed to reopening schools, fearing that a second peak of the epidemic will occur.

The new move came as another 351 COVID-19 patients have died in Britain as of Thursday afternoon, bringing the total coronavirus-related death toll in the country to 36,393, according to the Department of Health and Social Care.

Britons returning from overseas will also have to stay home and avoid mixing with others for 14 days under the measures, which will be reviewed every three weeks.

If their accommodation does not meet necessary requirements they will have to self-isolate in hotels arranged by the government.

Travellers will be expected to fill out a form online on gov.uk up to 48 hours in advance of travel, providing contact information and an address of where they plan to self-isolate once they arrive in the country.

Officials have said until such time as the Foreign Office lifts the advice against all but essential travel, holidaymakers should take that advice into account and bear in mind implications for their trip and any conditions on their holiday insurance.

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.

There are expected to be exemptions for road haulers and medical officials, while the common travel area with Ireland will be unaffected.

Border Force will undertake checks at the border and may refuse entry to any non-British citizen who refuses to comply with the regulations and is not resident in the UK. There will be spot checks where you could be contacted by phone by Public Health England officials who will ask you a series of questions about your self-isolation.

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

There will be limited exemptions to the arrivals quarantine and a full list will be published soon on Gov.uk.

The government has indicated that only those arriving from the Irish Republic would be exempt from the quarantine along with those in a number of specific jobs, such as freight drivers.

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