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How will the UK's new 14-day coronavirus quarantine work?

  • How will the UK's new 14-day coronavirus quarantine work?
    20 minute test solution to travel quarantine How will the UK's new 14-day coronavirus quarantine work?
Region:
Europe
Category:
Society
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By The Guardian
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MPs raise concerns about potentially limited impact of measures compared with damage they could do to industry.
What’s happening from Monday?
A quick 20-minute test instead of a 14-day quarantine is being considered by UK ministers ahead of the summer holidays opening up for international travel.

All international arrivals into the UK, including returning British residents, will be required to self-isolate for 14 days.

They will be required to fill in a contact locator form with contact and travel information so they can be reached if they, or someone they may have been in contact with, develops coronavirus.

The exemptions list includes road haulage workers, a registered health or care professional travelling to the UK to provide essential healthcare and Eurotunnel drivers.

What can and can’t I do while under quarantine?
The rules mirror those established for people self-isolating with coronavirus symptoms.

Individuals quarantining will be permitted to shop for food essentials and medicines and will be able to take public transport to their designated accommodation.

A breach of self-isolation would be punishable with a £1,000 fixed penalty notice in England or potential prosecution and unlimited fine. The devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will set out their own enforcement approaches.

About a fifth of people are expected to receive a spot-check to ensure that they are staying at the address or addresses they have provided to the authorities, the Guardian understands.

A quick 20-minute test instead of a 14-day quarantine is being considered by UK ministers ahead of the summer holidays opening up for international travel.

The new proposal hopes to allow British residents to have a holiday abroad this year without needing to self-isolate for two weeks when returning to the country.

The 14-day quarantine, which was confirmed by Home Secretary Priti Patel, is to be enforced by June 8, affecting both tourists and British nationals.

However, the new test could take less than half an hour to confirm if the traveller has the virus meaning they wouldn't need to isolate for two weeks.

According to The Sun, the test is being considered by a group of experts which includes scientists, ministers, civil servants and aviation bosses.

A Department for Transport source told the UK Telegraph: "What is being mooted is a mutually recognised test where a foreign businessman, say, has a test a day before flying that is accredited."

 

They added that it would allow "people to travel but maintain public health".

Other countries are already offering tests for airport arrivals to swerve the need for two-week quarantines.

Iceland will allow tourists to take a 24-hour test as soon as they land from June 15, which, if testing negative, will let them enter the country without a 14-day quarantine.

Vienna Airport charges travellers $A305 to take a coronavirus test which takes up to three hours and will let them avoid the two-week quarantine if it isn't positive.

Emirates is the first airline to introduce quick COVID-19 blood tests, which take just 10 minutes, after a trial before a flight from Dubai to Tunisia.

The proposal of a quick test follows an open letter from more than 70 UK travel firms calling for the 14-day quarantine to be scrapped.

The letter, which includes tour operator Mr & Mrs Smith as well as luxury hotels The Ritz and Hyatt Regency, said, "The very last thing the travel industry needs is a mandatory quarantine imposed on all arriving passengers which will deter foreign visitors from coming here."