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Summer holidays ruined as 14-day quarantine to be introduced


Summer holidays are going to be more difficult to organise with passengers going into a 14-day quarantine on arrival to the UK.
Summer holidays are going to be harder to organise with the quarantine period set to come into effect from next month (Picture: AFP/PA/Getty)

Passengers arriving into Britain will have to go into self-isolation for a fortnight as part of new measures introduced to avoid a second wave of infections.

The rules will apply to all travellers arriving at UK airports and could be implemented as early as next month. Passengers will have to provide an address to officials of where they will be spending the entirety of their 14-day quarantine period.

During Boris Johnson’s televised speech to the nation on Sunday, he said: ‘To prevent reinfection from abroad, I am serving notice that it will soon be the time – with transmission significantly lower – to impose quarantine on people coming into this country by air.’

Airlines UK, the trade body for registered airlines in the country including the likes of British Airways and easyJet, confirmed that the rules will be enforced for any passengers arriving into the UK. However, it is understood such measures will not apply to those travelling from France.

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Mr Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron made an agreement that the quarantine would not apply between the UK and France ‘at this stage’.

In a joint statement issued by Downing Street, following their talk on Sunday, it read: ‘The leaders spoke about the need to manage the risk of new transmissions arising from abroad, as the rate of coronavirus decreases domestically.

‘In this regard, the Prime Minister and the president agreed to work together in taking forward appropriate border measures. This co-operation is particularly necessary for the management of our common border.

‘No quarantine measures would apply to travellers coming from France at this stage; any measures on either side would be taken in a concerted and reciprocal manner’.

It was not made clear whether this would apply to passengers arriving by sea or whether it would include internal UK flights or those arriving from the Republic of Ireland.

A passnger wearing a facemask arrives at the Eurostar terminal at St Pancras station in London on May 6, 2020 as life continues under a nationwide lockdown imposed to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. - Cross-Channel train operator Eurostar on May 2 said face masks covering the mouth and nose would be compulsory on services between London, Paris and Brussels from May 4. Britain's death toll from the coronavirus has topped 32,000, according to an updated official count released May 5, pushing the country past Italy to become the second-most impacted after the United States. (Photo by ISABEL INFANTES / AFP) (Photo by ISABEL INFANTES/AFP via Getty Images)
Travellers going between France and the UK won’t have to isolate for two weeks (Picture: AFP)

French President Emmanuel Macron wears a face mask during the visit of the military field hospital outside the Emile Muller Hospital in Mulhouse, eastern France. He has made an agreement with Boris Johnson to exclude France from the quarantine period.
French President Emmanuel Macron has made an agreement with Boris Johnson to exclude France from the quarantine period (Picture: AFP)

It was previously reported in The Times that a Whitehall source said the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands would be exempt, despite the measures being implemented at ports.

The paper also reported that ‘authorities will conduct spot checks’, with punishments for those not adhering to rules, including ‘fines of up to £1,000’ and deportation.

According to Sky News, the measures will be introduced in June, but the Government is yet to confirm the full details. The prime minister is set to reveal more in the coming days.

Officials have been criticised for not implementing stricter travel restrictions, as it was revealed that the UK was the only country in the world not carrying airport health checks or closing its borders.

However, Mr Johnson suggested the restrictions would not have been as effective if implemented earlier.

Passengers arrive from international flights at Heathrow Airport, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in London, Britain, May 10, 2020. REUTERS/Toby Melville
The full details of the quarantine period are not yet clear (Picture: Reuters)

He said: ‘It is because of your efforts to get the R down and the number of infections down here, that this measure will now be effective.’

The move poses another threat to the travel industry and has caused UK airlines to demand ‘urgent additional government support’.

They fear the quarantine period will deter holidaymakers from booking trips as they could need up to a month off work, with airlines adding that it will threaten the future of many airlines and airports.

Most aircrafts have been grounded since March, as the pandemic started tightening its grip across the world, causing a battering to the travel industry which is facing a slow recovery.

A consumer group has warned that the information is ‘confusing’ for British travellers who will now not know whether they can travel as planned, safely rebook postponed holidays or when they will receive refunds.

Editor of Which? Travel, Rory Boland, said: ‘The situation is chaotic: the guidance issued by the Government against travelling abroad is indefinite, and yet some airlines and travel companies are selling flights and holidays due to depart within the next few weeks which carry no warning that they are unlikely to go ahead as planned.

‘Airlines and holiday companies must now be given clear FCO guidance on what dates it is appropriate to sell flights and holidays for’.

Mr Boland said the Government must urgent create a plan to support the travel industry through the crisis.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

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