Rumours of £10,000 fines for travellers who break quarantine rules
Holidaymakers who break strict new quarantine rules expected to be introduced next month could face fines of £1,000 to £10,000, while persistent offenders could potentially be levied unlimited fines.
Reports of the hefty fines emerged after transport secretary Grant Shapps announced that the Government was looking at plans to make a 14-day quarantine period compulsory for both new arrivals in the UK and Brits returning from abroad.
However, travel to some countries with similar infection rates to the UK could be exempt from the quarantine by the creation of so-called “air bridges” with other countries.
This caveat potentially raises the prospect of Brits being able to travel more freely to countries such as Spain, France, Italy and Germany this summer.
Travellers doing a limited number of stated jobs, such as lorry drivers, could also come and go from the UK without going into quarantine under the proposals.
Jonathan Van-Tam, the deputy chief medical officer, told the daily Government press conference that the UK was “driving down our case rate, to the point where we are becoming an area of low incidence of Covid-19”.
Any quarantine rules introduced would be enforced by Border Force officers with support from the police. Thousands of furloughed immigration enforcement officers could also be deployed.
The Government is expected to announce rules about quarantine on arrival in the UK sometime this week, with rules then reviewed every three weeks.
But the plans have not been welcomed by the airline industry. Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary branded them “idiotic” and “unimplementable”.