The government is set to unveil the full extent of the UK’s proposed quarantine measures, which are expected to include spot checks and fines of up to £1,000 for any arrivals who fail to comply with a new 14-day self-isolation requirement.
Home secretary Priti Patel will set out the proposals, first announced by prime minister Boris Johnson on 10 May, during the government’s daily coronavirus briefing at 5pm on Friday (22 May). It is understood the measures will come into force early next month.
According to the BBC, arrivals will be asked to fill in a form with their contact details as part of the government’s efforts to guard against a second wave of coronavirus in the UK.
Arrivals from the Common Travel Area, which includes all four UK nations, Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, will be exempt from the quarantine measures.
Those arriving from France will not be exempt, contrary to the government’s initial quarantine plan – which included a mutual exemption for people travelling between the two nations.
Transport secretary Grant Shapps earlier this week touted an "air bridge" regime, allowing those travelling to the UK from countries with lower rates of coronavirus infection to forego any quarantine requirements.
However, a spokesperson for the prime minister confirmed air bridges were an option under consideration, "but were not agreed government policy". The concept is not expected to form part of the government’s initial quarantine announcement.
Northern Ireland secretary Brandon Lewis told Sky News on Friday (22 May) there were "no plans" for air bridges at the moment.
The UK’s quarantine measures will be reviewed on a three-week basis. They will apply to anyone arriving in the UK by air, sea or rail, who will be required to provide an address where they will serve their self-isolation. The government will otherwise arrange accommodation.
Airlines have been highly critical of quarantine measures across Europe, with Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary branding them "unimplementable".
Carriers are in favour of more stringent health measures, such as pre-flight temperature checks, social distancing, increased sanitation and contact tracing, rather than quarantines.