Summer holidays 2020: Government reveals plans to avoid 14 day quarantine

It comes as travel firms have suggested that the quarantine will ruin holidays, and have suggested other methods to allow travel.

The proposal, announced by Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, would mean that holidaymakers would be able to travel to foreign resorts and return to Britain without entering quarantine.

On Monday night Mr Shapps said that the plans would be reviewed every three weeks and exemptions with countries with similar levels of the virus could be introduced.

It has been originally raised as a possibility with Spain, France, Italy and Germany.

Mr Shapps continued to explain why ‘air bridges’ would be an improvement to the government’s strategy.

He said: “It is the case we should consider further improvements – for example, things like air bridges enabling people from other countries who have themselves achieved lower levels of coronavirus infection to come to the country.”

Jonathan Van-Tam, the deputy chief medical officer, also told the Downing Street press conference that the UK was “driving down our case rate, to the point where we are becoming an area of low incidence of COVID-19”.

He added: “Then it becomes more sensible to think about what the contribution of travellers from abroad might be.”

This week the Government is expected to announce a 14-day quarantine period for international arrivals.

Anyone who breaches the quarantine faces fines of between £1,000 and £10,000.

The Telegraph reports that ministers are considering potentially unlimited fines for persistent offenders.

A senior Whitehall source has said: “We want to send a very clear signal to discourage people from breaching the quarantine.”

Magistrates would have powers in rare circumstances to levy unlimited fines if there were constant breaches or a refusal to pay.


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The government’s plans will only exempt visitors from the common travel areas including Ireland, Guernsey and Jersey, along with a “very limited” group of up to 30 professions or jobs, under the policy to be announced this week.

The bulk of exemptions will be 12,000 freight drivers a day bringing in food, medicines and vital supplies.

Others will be in specialist jobs protecting national security or critical infrastructure or required to meet international obligations.

These include diplomats, defence personnel, specialist engineers, some police and border officers, some Eurostar staff and North Sea oil rig workers.

The regulations will be enforced by Border Force officers with some support inland from the police, with thousands of furloughed immigration enforcement officers could also be deployed.

Some travel leaders have blasted the government’s plans for travel quarantine.

Michael O’Leary, Ryanair’s chief executive branded the plans as “idiotic” and “unimplementable.”

He continued: “You don’t have enough police in the UK to implement a two-week lockdown.”

Lucy Moreton, professional officer for ISU, the immigration and borders union, said: “Britain is not an ID card country. We cannot challenge people who are walking about.

“You could post the fine to them but if they have gone back to the United States, there is no means to recover the fines.”

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