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Could you get fined £10,000 for leaving your home?

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Written by: Emma Lunn
13/04/2021
People quarantining at home following international travel may now be visited by staff employed on behalf of the NHS Test and Trace service.

The move is part of clampdown on people not quarantining after international travel.

It is still illegal to holiday overseas and those entering the country following international travel must either stay in a quarantine hotel, if arriving from a ‘red list’ country, or at the address listed on their passenger locator form if arriving in the UK from elsewhere.

The government says compliance is critical to reduce the risk of variants of concern entering the UK.

Those quarantining at home may now be visited by staff employed on behalf of the NHS Test and Trace service. These checks will be in addition to those already carried out by police officers, who make up to 1,000 home visits per day.

NHS Test and Trace staff won’t have any enforcement powers; however, a referral will be made to the police if NHS Test and Trace staff think someone may be breaching quarantine rules.

Individuals who fail to comply with quarantine rules could be issued with a fixed penalty notice, starting at £1,000 and increasing up to £10,000 for repeat offences.

These checks are in addition to the work by the Isolation Assurance and Compliance Service to contact everyone returning from non-red list countries that are staying in England and Northern Ireland.

People are called in order to check their status and to provide advice on the need to self-isolate and what to do if they are experiencing symptoms. They are also given information about taking tests on day 2 and day 8 of their self-isolation period. These calls are made repeatedly, alongside text messages where necessary. Any concerns are then be escalated to decide whether further checks are needed.

Last week, the government set out a framework to chart the safe return of international travel, which could resume from 17 May at the earliest. This will see a traffic light system categorise countries based on risk alongside the restrictions required for travel.

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