Home Secretary announces new 14 day quarantine for all UK arrivals – from 8th June. To be reviewed in 3 weeks

New measures at the UK border to guard against a 2nd wave of coronavirus infections have been announced by the Home Secretary. They include 14 days’ self-isolation for anyone entering the UK, bar a relatively short list of exemptions. The government takes the view that as the number of Covid infections in the UK falls, we cannot afford to have more entering from abroad, though they did not see the necessity to do this earlier. Anyone arriving at an airport, or other place of entry, will have to have filled in a contact form, with the address at which they will be staying.  In theory, people will be required to self-isolate for 14 days and could have spot-checks during the period to ensure compliance. It is unclear by whom; the police do not have the resources to do so. There is theoretically a fine from breaching self-isolation, of £1,000. That limit might rise, if the infection risk rises in future. The measures will be reviewed in 3 weeks time.  People should use personal transport, such as a car, to travel to their accommodation where possible. Once they arrive there, they should not leave their accommodation for 14 days, even to get food, if possible.

Many have questioned why this measure was not brought in weeks ago, though the UK population had to observe lockdown scrupulously.


Backlash begins after UK imposes 14-day coronavirus quarantine from June 8

Early indications that scheme could be short-lived, with Priti Patel saying it is to be be kept under review

By Charles Hymas   and   Gordon Rayner, POLITICAL EDITOR (The Telegraph)
22 May 2020

A 14-day quarantine for people arriving in the UK was described as “ineffective and unenforceable” as the Home Secretary faced a backlash from the travel industry and Tory MPs.

From June 8, anyone arriving in Britain – apart from those on a specific list of exemptions – will be legally required to self-isolate for two weeks or face fines of up to £3,200.

But on Friday night there were signs that the scheme could be short-lived, as Priti Patel said it would be kept under review and she would be working with the travel industry to refine it before it begins.

The Home Secretary also confirmed that “air bridges” between Britain and other countries with a similar or lower coronavirus infection rate are expected to be brought in. Government sources said they would be rebranded as “travel corridors” because they also apply to ferries and the Channel Tunnel.

Critics claimed on Friday night that the system has so many flaws that it would do nothing to prevent a second wave of coronavirus and amounted to a “blunt tool” that could shut down aviation.

Ms Patel said passengers will be expected to fill in forms before they leave their country of origin, specifying the address at which they will be quarantined in the UK, but the only enforcement will be spot checks at airports and a £100 fine if people fail to comply.

Spot checks will also be carried out to make sure people are at the quarantine address given, but the system will rely almost entirely on good faith.

Ireland is exempt, meaning passengers could simply fly to Dublin and then on to the UK to get round quarantine measures. Although Ireland has its own quarantine in place, it is understood this would not stop people transiting through it to get to the UK.

There will also be nothing to stop travellers from using public transport to get to their quarantine address in the UK, meaning they could potentially spread the virus while in transit.

Ms Patel told the daily Downing St press conference: “We expect the vast majority of people to do the right thing and comply with these new requirements… we will review these temporary public health measures every three weeks to ensure they remain the right ones for our road map to recovery.”

Europe’s biggest airline, Ryanair, said it was “strongly opposed to ineffective non-scientific measures such as the UK’s ‘quarantine’, which is completely unenforceable”.

A spokesman for the airline said: “This isolation measure simply does not work unless passengers arriving in international UK airports are detained in airport terminals or hotels for the 14-day period.

“Once these arriving passengers have travelled on the crowded London Underground, or the Heathrow and Gatwick Express, or buses or taxis to their destination, the subsequent quarantine is pointless. If this measure had any basis in science, then the Irish visitors would not and could not be exempt.”

David Davis, a former Tory Brexit secretary, said: “The thing that worries me is how carefully this has been thought through. The timing is odd. Other countries, like Greece, introduced pretty much quarantine arrangements very, very early on and, as a result, Greece is 30 times better off in deaths per million than we are.

“And we’re now in a position where we’re going to say to Greeks coming here: ‘Well, you’re going to have to have 14 days in quarantine’, whereas if I come down from Doncaster, I go through King’s Cross without a stop.”

Tim Alderslade, the chief executive of trade body Airlines UK, said: “Introducing a quarantine at this stage makes no sense and will mean very limited international aviation at best. It is just about the worst thing the Government could do if their aim is to restart the economy.

“Thousands of jobs and the recovery of the UK economy depend on re-establishing air links as soon as possible.”

Passengers wearing face masks make their way through Heathrow Airport
Passengers wearing face masks make their way through Heathrow Airport CREDIT: David Dyson
Karen Dee, the chief executive of the Airport Operators Association, said quarantine was a “blunt tool” and could lead to “a prolonged shutdown of aviation”.

She told a committee of MPs that airports wanted internationally-agreed standards that could include thermal checks, masks, hand sanitisers and air bridge proposals.

She said: “We think this would be a much better approach to this because it would be much more risk based and therefore reduce the economic impact, which is going to be huge, but at the same time achieve the safety we are looking for.”

Adam Marshall, the chief executive of the British Chambers of Commerce, agreed with Ms Dee’s proposals and said businesses would be “deeply concerned” by the quarantine because it will “damage international business and investor confidence at a time when it is vital to demonstrate that the UK can open for business safely”.



The Times article also says:

Police sources said that with crime expected to rise as the lockdown was eased, quarantine enforcement was not a priority. “We’ve basically said that this is something they [the UK Border Agency] need to solve and control.”

Ms Patel was asked what effect the quarantine, that will also apply to British nationals, would have on people wanting to book summer holidays.

She said that the public should not be thinking about foreign holidays as all but essential travel was still advised against by the government.

“The advice from government and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is you’re not to travel and to please follow the advice,” Ms Patel said.

Asked about the prospect of so-called air bridges to allow free travel to other European countries Ms Patel said she would “look at all options”.

David Davis, the former Brexit secretary, suggested that other countries had more to fear from British travellers than the other way round.

• Boris Johnson is prepared to travel to the US to meet Donald Trump next month for the G7. Downing Street said that he would “follow the guidelines” on travel restrictions, including on wearing a face mask, if the summit takes place on June 10-12.




Home Secretary announces new public health measures for all UK arrivals

New measures at the UK border to guard against a second wave of coronavirus infections have been announced by the Home Secretary today.

As the transmission rate in the UK falls, and the number of travellers arriving in the UK begins to increase in the coming months, imported cases may pose a larger threat as they could become a higher proportion of the overall number of infections in the UK and increase the spread of the disease.

We need to take action to manage the risk of transmission from this group.

The measures outlined by the Home Secretary include:

Contact locator form

All arriving passengers will be required to fill this in to provide contact and travel information so they can be contacted if they, or someone they may have been in contact with develops the disease.

Self isolation

Passengers arriving in the UK will be required to self-isolate for 14 days and could be contacted regularly throughout this period to ensure compliance.


Anyone failing to comply with the mandatory conditions may face enforcement action. A breach of self-isolation would be punishable with a £1,000 fixed penalty notice in England or potential prosecution and unlimited fine. The level of fine could increase if the risk of infection from abroad increases. The Devolved Administrations will set out their own enforcement approaches.

Spot checks

Border Force will undertake checks at the border and may refuse entry to any non-British citizen who refuses to comply with these regulations and isn’t resident in the UK. Failure to complete the form is also punishable by a £100 fixed penalty notice. Public health authorities will conduct random checks in England to ensure compliance with self-isolation requirements. Removal from the country would be considered as a last resort for foreign nationals who refuse to comply with these public health measures.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said:

“As the world begins to emerge from what we hope is the worst of the coronavirus pandemic, we must look to the future and protect the British public by reducing the risk of cases crossing our border.We are introducing these new measures now to keep the transmission rate down and prevent a devastating second wave.I fully expect the majority of people will do the right thing and abide by these measures. But we will take enforcement action against the minority of people who endanger the safety of others.”

Professor John Aston, Home Office Chief Scientific Adviser said:


“The scientific advice so far has been clear: while there has been significant community transmission of the virus within the UK the impact of putting in place additional border restrictions would have been negligible to the spread of the virus.However, the spread of the virus within the UK is now lessening. We have been successful in getting the reproduction number R – the average number of new people infected by one infected person – below 1.As the number of infections within the UK drops, we must now manage the risk of transmissions being reintroduced from elsewhere.”

The arrangements are due to come into effect on 8 June.

Information will be available to incoming travellers, including on the government’s social distancing guidelines, through messaging and announcements in-flight and leaflets and posters on arrival. Materials will be available in English and 9 other languages.

The new regime will be in place across the United Kingdom, although enforcement measures will be set individually by the Devolved Administrations.

Through the new online locator contact form all arriving passengers will need to provide details of their self-isolation accommodation. If this does not meet the necessary requirements – such as hotels, or with friends or family – they will be required to self-isolate in facilities arranged by the government.

People should use personal transport, such as a car, to travel to their accommodation where possible. Once they arrive there, they should not leave their accommodation for 14 days.

This means that they should not go to work, school, or public areas, or use public transport or taxis. They should not have visitors, including friends and family, unless they are providing essential support.

They should not go out to buy food or other essentials where they can rely on others.

Those entering the UK will also be encouraged to download the NHS Covid-19 app at the border and use it for the duration of their stay in the UK.

Once self-isolation is complete people should follow the current government guidelines on social distancing measures.

There will be limited exemptions and a full list will be published on gov.uk. [See below]. They include:

  • road haulage and freight workers, to ensure the supply of goods is not impacted
  • medical professionals who are travelling to help with the fight against coronavirus
  • anyone moving from within the Common Travel Area, covering Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man
  • Seasonal Agricultural Workers who will self-isolate on the property where they are working

The Home Office has been working closely with industry partners ahead of announcing these changes. They will be subject to review every three weeks, to ensure they are in line with the latest scientific evidence and remain effective and necessary.

The government will continue to look at further options as we move forward and these will include air bridges – agreements between countries who both have low transmission rates to recognise each other’s departure screening measures for passengers and removing the need for quarantine measures for incoming passengers.



You will not need to fill in the form or self-isolate for 14 days if you’re travelling to the UK from:

  • Ireland
  • the Channel Islands
  • the Isle of Man

Government guidance on exemptions is at