Anyone who breaches UK quarantine rules could face £1,000 fine or potential prosecution, Priti Patel confirms
Anyone who breaches the upcoming UK quarantine rules and fails to self-isolate could be fined £1,000 or face potential prosecution, the Home Secretary Priti Patel said.
Ms Patel has outlined the time-limited quarantine measures for people arriving in the UK from overseas from June 8.
They will be told to self-isolate for 14 days to prevent cases being brought into the country from overseas.
However if someone breaches self-isolation they could be handed a £1,000 fixed penalty notice in England or face potential prosecution, Ms Patel confirmed.
The Home Secretary said the UK is past the peak of coronavirus but the country is “now more vulnerable to new infections being brought in from abroad”.
Ms Patel said: “The transmission rate in the UK continues to decline and international travel is likely to resume from its record low. Therefore the scientific advice is that imported cases of the virus pose a more significant threat to our national effort.
“Travellers from overseas could become a higher proportion of the overall number of infections in the UK and increase the spread of the disease."
Foreign travellers who disobey UK quarantine rules could face deportation
Ms Patel said arrivals will be required to fill in a “contact locator form”, including details on where they will isolate and how they can be contacted.
She said: “The form must be completed in advance of travel to provide details of the journey and Border Force will be at the front line of enforcing this requirement.
“Passengers require a receipt, either printed or on their phone, to prove they have completed the form.
“Border Force will undertake spot checks at the border and may refuse entry to non-resident nationals who refuse to comply.
"They will have the power to impose a £100 fixed penalty notice to those who don’t comply.”
Ms Patel said the first review of the quarantine measures would take place in the week beginning 28 June.
The UK's home secretary said the government continues to explore "all options for future safe travel", including travel corridors - also known as air bridges.
She added: "Any international approaches will be bilateral and agreed with the other countries concerned.
“We need to ensure that those countries are deemed to be safe. We are not alone in our fight against this disease, or in the measures we have taken to stop it.”
The Home Office previously said foreign travellers who disobey forthcoming UK quarantine rules could be deported.
But this would be considered “as a last resort” for foreign nationals who refuse to comply with the order to stay at a single residence.
However many have questioned why the travel restrictions were not in place earlier on in the pandemic.
Peter Drobac, Director at Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, told ITV News: "It's very clear that travel restrictions early on could have slowed down the entry of the virus into the country and its eventual rise, and many of the countries that have successfully averted the damage we have had from Covid-19 here did put those measures in place very early."
He added: "These travel restrictions are important but they are best done when implemented very early."