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Q&A: Quarantine rules limit travellers landing in the UK

The quarantine rules cover everyone arriving by plane, train or ferry

A newly arrived passenger wears a face mask at London's Heathrow airport. AFP
A newly arrived passenger wears a face mask at London's Heathrow airport. AFP

New restrictions are being introduced for people flying into the UK as the country tries to reopen its coronavirus-battered economy.

The rules were announced by the UK Home Secretary, Priti Patel, last month and go into force on June 8.

Whether you’re a UK citizen returning home, a tourist heading to Britain for a holiday or a business passenger, the new rules could curb your plans.

There are a handful of exceptions but the vast majority of people will need to self-isolate.

What are the quarantine rules?

Starting June 8, almost everyone arriving in the UK, including British citizens, will have to self-isolate for two weeks.

The quarantine rules cover everyone arriving by plane, train or ferry.

People must also provide details of where they will be staying and their contact details while in the UK.

They have to drive in their own car to the declared address for their self-isolation.

If anyone can’t provide an address, the government has said it will arrange accommodation but has not laid out what or where that accommodation will be.

Newly-arrived passengers are told to not use taxis or public transport. AFP
Newly-arrived passengers are told to not use taxis or public transport. AFP

Once at the address, people will not be allowed to leave except in limited situations. Wherever possible, food shopping should be done by someone else.

The rules say arriving travellers must not go to work, school or public areas such as parks. They also should not use public transport or taxis.

Are there any other travel rules?

The government says all travellers should abide by two-metre social distancing.

People travelling via Stansted, Manchester and East Midlands airports have been told to cover their faces and wear gloves.

Several airlines have also made face masks compulsory and have implemented social-distancing measures on flights.

The system will be reviewed every three weeks.

What happens if you break the rules?

Once the new quarantine rules are in force, there is a £100 (Dh460) fine for refusing to provide your contact details.

If you’re in England or Wales and you refuse to self-isolate, you could be fined up to £1,000.

Separate fines could be imposed in Scotland or Northern Ireland.

What are the exceptions?

There are certain employment and geographical exemptions to the quarantine measures.

  • Medics travelling to help fight the pandemic

  • Freight workers and lorry drivers
  • Seasonal agricultural workers who can self-isolate where they work.
  • Anyone arriving from the Republic of Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.

Updated: June 3, 2020 10:34 PM

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