UK quarantine plan: details due later today

Police are expected to be empowered to do checks at people's addresses

Details of the UK’s 14-day Covid-19 quarantine plan for those arriving in the country are to be announced at 18:00 (French time) today – expected to include police checks and fines.

UK Home Secretary Priti Patel is expected to detail proposals requring all people arriving from abroad, including Britons returning from holidays and trips to second homes, to have to give an accommodation address where they promise to self-isolate for 14 days.

It is understood that the government now favours empowering police to undertake unannounced checks at the address supplied, with those found not to be respecting the rules to face fines of at least £1,000 (€1,115).

The measures are planned to come in next month and are expected to apply to all travellers, wherever they are arriving from and by whatever transport means.

Only journeys from the UK to the Republic of Ireland, Channel Islands and Isle of Man are expected to be exempt. 

Members of certain professions, including lorry drivers, certain engineers, police, border and defence officials and diplomats and medical staff are also expected to be exempt.

If arriving passengers can give no address it is thought the government will arrange a place for them to stay.

It is unclear if an MPs’ vote will be held on the proposal but there is likely to be pressure for one. The plan is controversial, even with some Conservative MPs who feel that it will harm the recovery of the British economy.

The plan is also opposed by UK air industry body Airlines UK, which has stated that it "would effectively kill air travel" and would "completely shut off the UK from the rest of the world when other countries are opening up their economies".

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