The Home Secretary Priti Patel has announced plans to quarantine international travellers for 14 days as she leads the daily government Covid-19 briefing.
The plans mean people arriving in the UK from June 8 with have to self-isolate for 14 days, although certain workers will be exempt.
People face spot checks and £1,000 fines for failing to self-isolate for 14 days under the measures aimed at guarding against a second wave of coronavirus in the UK.
Ms Patel is expected to announce exemptions for road hauliers and medical officials will apply, while the common travel area with Ireland will be unaffected.
Arrivals from France will not be exempt, officials have already confirmed, following confusion earlier this week.
Travellers will be asked to fill in a form with their contact information, and health officials will perform spot checks to ensure compliance with the measures.
Clive Wratten, CEO of the Business Travel Association, says: “The quarantine measures announced today will cause enormous damage to an economy struggling to get back on its feet. Business travel would normally contribute £600 million a day to UK GDP and quarantine will put the brakes on this vital economic enabler. It also threatens the survival of many companies in the business travel supply chain employing thousands of people whom British business rely on to arrange trips that enable them to trade.”
“Public health and safety is of course paramount, but there are better ways to achieve this than a quarantine. The BTA is calling for the introduction of globally consistent guidelines on contact tracing, social distancing, the use of masks and other hygiene measures which protect the end to end journey and make business travel possible. We urge the Government to engage with the business travel sector to make this vital measure a reality.”
Joss Croft, CEO, UKinbound added his thoughts on the announcement: “Imposing a 14-day quarantine on international arrivals is another blow to the UK’s struggling tourism and hospitality industry – worth £28bn per year. It’s imperative that this policy is implemented for as short a time as possible. While the highest priority for businesses across the industry continues to be the health and safety of customers and staff, we implore Government to fully explore all options available such as air bridges and extensive testing, so that international tourists can return as soon as safely possible. If the 14-day quarantine measures need to be in place longer-term, our industry will need significant and extended support.”