Priti Patel: Travel quarantine ‘essential to save lives’

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Home Secretary Priti Patel has insisted that imposing a two-week quarantine on international arrivals to the UK is necessary in the fight against coronavirus.

It follows warnings that the move could severely damage the travel and aviation industry.

Speaking in Parliament today, Ms Patel said that because the UK was past the peak of the pandemic, it was now more vulnerable to new infections being brought in from abroad.

She told MPs: “These measures are backed by the science, supported by the public, and essential to save lives.

“We know they will present difficulties for the tourism industry, but that's why we have an unprecedented package of support, the most comprehensive in the world, for both employees and businesses.”

The measure will come into force in England on Monday and devolved administrations will arrange their own regulations.

International arrivals will have to self-isolate for 14 days and could face fines of up to £1,000 if they do not.

Travellers will be asked to complete a “contact locator form” upon their arrival, providing an address and contact details, so that authorities can carry out spot checks to ensure compliance.

Shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said Labour had been calling for “sensible screening measures at the border for months" and said the government’s management of arrivals “lacked urgency and coherence”.

“If these measures are necessary from June 8, why have they not been necessary in recent weeks?”, the Labour MP asked.

Ms Patel maintained that the right policies had been introduced at the right time.

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