The UK is set to introduce a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine for all arrivals into the country from overseas, including British citizens, with those breaking the rules facing up to £1,000 in fines.
Secretary of State for the Home Department Priti Patel is expected to make the announcement during Friday’s press briefing, with the measures set to come into effect in June.
Any travellers arriving into the UK — at airports, ports, or train stations — must provide Border Force with the details of where they are staying, with officials able to conduct checks on those on quarantine orders to make sure they are complying.
Exemptions will include those arriving from the Republic of Ireland, as well as medics and hauliers, according to the BBC, and contrary to earlier reports, it is believed those travelling from France will also be subject to self-isolation orders.
‘We Are Guided by the Science’: British Govt Shrugs Off Responsibility For Open Borders, No Arrival Testing https://t.co/W0VUGwAHRv
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 13, 2020
The government is expected to say that the plans are to be put in place to prevent a second wave of Chinese coronavirus. However, critics of the government’s strategy have said that the UK should have locked down the country’s external borders months ago.
In April, the month after lockdown restrictions were put in place, reports revealed that 100,000 travellers were still landing at British airports every week. In the three months before the lockdown, the Home Office had quarantined only 273 people out of the 18.1 million arrivals into the country.
Since the outbreak, around 130 countries introduced lockdowns on their external borders as well as quarantines and screenings, with the UK being an “outlier” by imposing none.
Professor Gabriel Scally, the president of epidemiology and public health at the Royal Society of Medicine, had said last month that he found it “very hard to understand why it persists in having this open borders policy. It is most peculiar.”
Farage Says ‘Boris Needs to Get a Grip’ on Coronavirus and Fire Health Secretary https://t.co/HhODW0QCtX
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 22, 2020
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage criticised the government as far back as March for forcing Britons to stay under lockdown and observe extreme social distancing while the country continued to allow international open borders to legal migration.
On March 23rd, Mr Farage had said: “So we are to be locked down — and a new testing regime will begin. Will the planes keep coming from Milan, Tehran and Beijing? I expect not. It’s all too late.”
“On the very same day that Lombardy was closed down, 17 flights came into the United Kingdom from Milan’s Malpensa airport…. [with] not a single person being temperature checked,” he revealed, referencing Italy, which at the time was a hotspot of contagion.
Just earlier this month, Mr Farage had criticised the government for being “all over the place” on its lockdown policy after considering allowing “air bridges” for travel from countries that had got their outbreak under control. The government had previously argued that locking down airports was effectively pointless because the virus was already so widely spread around the country.
To date, the UK still has the second-highest number of coronavirus fatalities in the whole world, with more than 36,000 dead. In April, Farage warned that with the government’s dithering over the screening of entrants that “in the subsequent enquiry, the word will’ be ‘negligence’.”
Mr Farage has also been highly critical of government’s failure to tackle illegal migration, with the number of English Channel boat migrants surging during the lockdown, many reportedly coming from migrant camps rife with coronavirus. Farage’s reporting on the issue came to a head this week when he filmed the French navy escort a boat full of migrants into British waters to hand off to UK authorities.
Media Finally Report Claims French Border Patrols ‘Escort’ Migrants to UK Waters After Farage Revelations https://t.co/76bK1ZRc1L
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 21, 2020