Travelers from foreign countries arriving at a UK border post from June 8 will have to have completed a digital form that will include contact details, and the address of the place where they will spend 14 mandatory quarantine days. The measure, announced by Interior Minister Priti Patel, will be reviewed every three weeks.
Exceptions to the rule include transporters of food products or goods, medical personnel who arrive to get involved in the repression of the pandemic, fruit harvest workers … Those from Ireland, who are quarantined, are also excluded from the requirement to remain in quarantine. enjoy a common travel area with the United Kingdom, and French police and customs officers operating on the common border on both sides of the English Channel.
Failure to comply will entail the payment of 1,120 euros and the possibility of judicial prosecution
Passengers should move from the port or airport to their quarantine place in a personal car, when possible, and must remain in total isolation, without leaving their residence except for reasons of force majeure, which does not include the purchase of food, nor should they receive visits. After 14 days, they can leave complying with the current physical isolation regulations.
Serious damage to tourism
Minister Patel expressed her belief that the vast majority will comply with the rules, but a system of fines has been established: 112 euros for not completing the form, 1,120 and possible prosecution for a higher sanction for non-compliance with quarantine. In exceptional cases, accommodation will be offered to a traveler who does not have it, who will have to pay its cost. And undisciplined non-British or resident travelers will be banned from entering the UK.
Current air traffic is 99% less than last year at this time, the minister said, but the damage to British aviation and tourism, and that of receiving countries such as Spain, will not be reduced soon if the citizens of The United Kingdom pays attention to Patel, who stated that his “advice” is not to book holidays yet and reminded the Foreign Ministry to limit travel to those that are “essential”.
The head of scientific advice to the Government, Sir Patrick Vallance, did not offer the prospect of a relaxation when the review of these measures arrives, at the end of June, by cooling the possibility that the Covid-19 tests or the antibody tests offer a departure. The first, because they would allow people who are incubating the virus to enter the country and could give a negative result in the test. As for the latter, research has shown that patients create antibodies, he said later, but there is no certainty about the level or extent of immunity they offer.
Among the corrective measures of a decision that may leave the movement of passengers at current levels, the British Government is talking with others about the possibility of creating ‘air bridges’ between airports of both countries through mutual recognition of the control regimes of the epidemic and in ports and airports.
UK Border Force Director-General Paul Lincoln listed crimes discovered during the pandemic months: smuggling 700 kilos of cocaine, 84 shipments of fake or defective face masks, a Kalashnikov machine gun… Its members have also detected attempts of illegal entry of 30,000 immigrants.
When Boris Johnson announced a possible quarantine to travelers arriving through airports, the statements about his subsequent conversation with Emmanuel Macron were over-interpreted as creating a special zone between the two countries. They actually agree on reciprocal border control measures, in what Patel has described as continuous contact between ministers of both governments.