Coronavirus: U.K. Unveils 14-Day Quarantine Plans

SAGE member pours cold water on government plans to quarantine people coming to UK

The British government says people flying into the United Kingdom will have to self-isolate for 14 days and could be fined 1,000 pounds ($1,220) if they fail to comply.

Speaking to Sky News this Friday, Brando Lewis, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, was one step away from confirming the news, although Interior Minister Priti Patel is expected to make it official during a virtual press release.

The new rules will apply to all worldwide arrivals except Ireland from June 8 and come after weeks of calls for tougher restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19.

All global arrivals, including returning Britons, will have to self-isolate for 14 days and provide details of where they will be staying under the plans, which were criticised by airlines, business groups and politicians alike.

Officials have said until such time as the Foreign Office lifts the advice against all but essential travel, holidaymakers should take that advice into account and bear in mind implications for their trip and any conditions on their holiday insurance.

As part of the plans, which are aimed at guarding against a second wave of coronavirus infections, any passengers arriving in the UK by plane, ferry or train would need to provide UK Border Force officials with an address where they will self-isolate, otherwise accommodation will be arranged by the government.

EasyJet has said it will offer limited domestic flights, and one worldwide flight to Nice, France, from the middle of June.

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Hotel fees and foreign travel prices sank while the cost of durable goods edged down as consumers stayed home amid the virus woes. Falling petrol and diesel prices, plus lower energy bills, were the main drivers pushing inflation lower.

The quarantine plan has sparked confusion and criticism from airlines, airports and lockdown-weary Britons wondering whether they will get to take a vacation overseas this summer.

Under the new plans, passengers will have to fill in a form providing their contact and travel information to enable them to be traced if infections arise.

They could also be contacted regularly over the 14-day period to ensure they are complying.

Britain is now piloting a contact tracing smartphone app to better identify cases and the spread of the virus nationally.

There will be limited exemptions to the arrivals quarantine and a full list will be published soon on Gov.uk.

The quarantine measures will not apply to those arriving from the Irish Republic, and there are also exemptions for freight drivers, medical professionals and seasonal agricultural workers. The Government has left open the possibility of negotiating "air bridges" with countries with low coronavirus rates where travellers both ways would be exempt from quarantine.

It came as teachers' union leaders said they remained unconvinced it will be safe to reopen primary schools in England on 1 June.

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