The UK will introduce an across the board quarantine requirement for air, sea, and other arrivals from June, transport secretary Grant Shapps has confirmed.
Shapps told parliament the controversial scheme would include all arrivals from abroad but added it could be modified to exclude countries where the Covid-19 infection rate was below the rate of one.
“The final details of the quarantine scheme will be released soon and come in early next month,” he said in response to questions in the Commons.
“We should consider further improvements, for example things like ‘air bridges’ enabling people from countries that have themselves achieved lower levels of coronavirus infection to come to the country, so there are active discussions that will go beyond what will initially be a blanket situation.”
Shapps was asked what he was doing to prevent “tens or even hundreds of thousands" of job losses in the airline industry.
He revealed the UK aviation industry had 43,500 staff who were furloughed, together with another 2,600 airport workers.
Shapps said airlines had recourse to the Bank of England loan scheme, the Business Interruption Loan Scheme support for employees and VAT deferrals.
“I should point out we have a special process in place available only to the aviation sector so when they run out of those other forms of options they can come and talk to us about those.”
Shapps said the scheme, known as the Birch Process, was assessing appeals for help.
“A large number of aviation-orientated businesses are in that process,” he added.