Beginning June 8, travelers arriving in the United Kingdom will be required to self-isolate for 14 days, according to an announcement by Home Secretary Priti Patel. The quarantine will be enforced with random spot checks and fines of £1,000 ($1,233).
The Home Office says the new policy will be in effect across the UK, but enforcement in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be left up to the devolved administrations.
Passengers coming into the country by plane, ferry or train – including UK nationals – will be required to fill out an online locator contact form detailing where they will be staying during the self-isolation period. There is a £100 penalty for anyone who has not filled out this form.
Travelers who have not secured a suitable place to self-isolate will be required to stay in “facilities arranged by the government” at the person’s own expense, according to Border Force chief Paul Lincoln.
The self-isolation requirement will not apply to truck drivers, seasonal farm workers and coronavirus medics. People traveling from the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man will also be exempt.
Patel told a Downing Street briefing the measure was taken to “reduce the risk of cases crossing our border.” However she argued the quarantine order was not the same as completely shutting the country’s borders. “We want to avoid a second wave and that is absolutely vital.”
The measures, which had previously been announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, will be reviewed every three weeks to determine whether they are in line with scientific guidance and remain ”effective and necessary.”