From 8 June, Boris Johnson’s government will impose a fortnightly quarantine on all passengers – both British and foreign – arriving in the UK from an international destination. Downing Street wants to gradually implement its de-escalation strategy, and among its plans is even the controversial measure of reopening schools from next month.
At the same time, however, it does not want to make any false moves that would risk a second spike in the pandemic. Not surprisingly, the UK is the second most affected country in the world by covid-19, just behind the US. The number of deaths has now reached 36,393. Hence the Executive now wants to close the borders in some way.
“In view of the national emergency situation in which we find ourselves, we must remain on alert and even though we have passed the peak of the pandemic, we cannot throw away the efforts made so far. With proper scientific advice, we must do everything in our power to continue fighting the virus,” said Interior Minister Priti Patel, announcing the plan at the daily press conference in Issue 10.
Under the new measures, passengers arriving on British soil – whether by plane, ferry or train – will have to provide a contact and an address where they plan to isolate themselves. If they cannot be confined to where they plan to stay, it will be up to the government to provide a place for them to stay during the fortnightly quarantine, the incubation period for the virus.
During the confinement, health officials may carry out surprise inspections and those who do not comply with the rules will be fined £1,000. Those who refuse to pay will be prosecuted and the amount of the fine would be unlimited. Moreover, according to Patel, those who do not cooperate may be refused entry or expelled from the country.