U.K. announces a quarantine of all international air travelers.
Britain will quarantine everyone flying into the country, including citizens, for 14 days beginning June 8 to fight the spread of the coronavirus, Home Secretary Priti Patel announced on Friday.
On arrival at an airport, travelers will have to provide contact details and an address where they will be staying, Ms. Patel said. She said that those who flout the self-solation rules would be fined 1,000 pounds, or about $1,200, and that the government could increase the penalty.
She said that some workers would be exempt but did not go into detail. Previous news reports said truckers and freight workers, along with citizens of Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, would be exempt, but not arrivals from France. The BBC reported that those going into isolation would be encouraged to download the N.H.S. Covid-19 app.
Britain’s move comes more than seven weeks after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a stay-at-home order that has since been shifted to “stay alert” and is in line with measures by other countries.
The chief executive of the budget airline Ryanair, Michael O’Leary, had described the new quarantine plan as “hopelessly defective,” “idiotic” and “unimplementable.” Airlines UK has said the measure “would effectively kill” Britain’s international travel.
The move has support from opposition lawmakers. Jonathan Ashworth, the opposition Labour Party’s shadow health secretary, told Sky earlier on Friday that “many people had asked why we did not do this sooner,” adding, “Not taking all the measures that we should be taking is the idiotic position.”
More than 254,100 people have tested positive for the virus in Britain, with over 36,000 deaths.