By Gareth Jones, Newgate Public Affairs
Home Secretary Priti Patel announced new temporary public health restrictions at UK borders, requiring from 8 June, new international arrivals to self-isolate for 14 days when they enter the UK. She stated that this was now the time to bring these measures, as imported cases could begin to pose a larger and increased threat to controlling the virus, with far fewer people being infected within the UK. She added that these measures were required to protect the UK’s hard-won progress and prevent a second wave.
There will be exemptions to these restrictions. Those arriving from the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man will be exempt. In addition, certain types of workers would be excluded, including road haulage workers and medical professionals. Patel confirmed there will be penalties for people breaking rules and spot checks to ensure people comply with the quarantine period. Those found breaking isolation after arriving from abroad could receive a penalty of £1000, which could then rise to ‘prosecution and unlimited fine’.
The Home Secretary said she recognised the impact this will have on the travel and tourism sectors and said the government will work with industry to find new ways to reopen international travel and tourism. She said that these measures would be reviewed every three weeks to ensure they are “in line with the latest scientific evidence” and remain effective and necessary.
Elsewhere today, the government’s scientific advisory group Sage, published its guidance on schools and said that the risk of coronavirus to pupils going back to the classroom was “very, very small, but it is not zero”. It also said teachers were not at above average risk compared with other occupations.