The government is increasing the number of officials checking that people are complying with quarantine rules when returning from amber list countries.
Plans to step up quarantine enforcement come as the government continues to face criticism, and accusations of spreading confusion, over its traffic lights policy following “mixed messages” from ministers this week.
Some reports also suggest the Indian variant of the coronavirus may not be spreading as quickly as previously feared, leading to hopes the full unlocking of domestic Covid restrictions can go ahead next month, although not everybody is so optimistic.
‘Holiday police’ to knock on your door
Home secretary Priti Patel has warned travellers returning from amber list countries, such as Spain, Greece and France, to expect a visit from officials to check they are complying with the 10-day quarantine rule. Quarantine enforcement is being stepped up by the government, with the ability to carry out up to 10,000 home visits per day. Those breaking the rules face a £10,000 fine. (The Daily Mail)
Use ‘common sense’ about travel to amber countries
Transport secretary Grant Shapps has urged UK residents to “apply a bit of common sense” when deciding whether to travel to amber list destinations following the lifting of the ban on foreign trips. (Sky News)
Red list travel chaos at Heathrow
Photographs reveal how passengers from red list countries have been having to queue alongside other travellers in the arrivals hall at Heathrow’s Terminal 2. Passengers voice their concerns about the lack of social distancing at the airport as they are forced to wait for hours to pass through UK immigration. (The i)
Go on holiday, don’t go on holiday
Confusion continues around the government’s new traffic light system, particularly over whether UK residents should travel to amber list countries for a holiday. Prime minister Boris Johnson again repeated that amber destinations were not suitable for holidays amid strong criticism of the policy from Labour. (The Daily Star)
Hopes rise for end to lockdown in June
PM Boris Johnson is becoming more confident that remaining Covid lockdown measures can be lifted as planned from 21 June, as data suggests the new Indian variant is not spreading as quickly as previously feared, while hospital admissions in Covid hot spots across the UK are currently “fairly flat”. (The Times)
Freedom plan may be diluted as Covid cases rise
But another report suggests that the rise in cases of the Indian variant could force the government to water down its plans for a full unlocking and end to social distancing from 21 June. A final decision is not likely to be made by ministers until 14 June. (The Guardian)
Qantas set for more cost cutting as losses mount
The Australian airline has unveiled a new series of cuts including a two-year wage freeze, a reduction in agents’ commission for international flights and offering voluntary redundancy to cabin crew. The moves are being made as Qantas announced it would be making an annual pre-tax loss of more than £1.1 billion. (BBC News)