France ready to mirror United Kingdom quarantine on visitors

Remigio Civitarese
Mag 23, 2020

"However, by introducing a mandatory 14 day self-isolation for every single traveller entering the United Kingdom, the Government's approach will prevent flights from resuming".

Image: Passengers arrive from worldwide flights at Heathrow Airport, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in London, Britain, May 10, 2020.

All arriving passengers will be required to fill this in to provide contact and travel information so they can be contacted if they, or someone they may have been in contact with develops the disease.

Enforcement - Anyone failing to comply may face enforcement action.

Breaches can be punished with a $1,220 spot fine, or by prosecution and an unlimited fine. The level of fine could increase if the risk of infection from overseas increases. The Devolved Administrations will set out their own enforcement approaches. Failure to complete the form is also punishable by a £100 fixed penalty notice. Public health authorities will conduct random checks in England to ensure compliance with self-isolation requirements. This will include British nationals coming home, as well as foreign visitors.

The measures, expected to be outlined by the home secretary, Priti Patel, are aimed at preventing a second wave of infections in the UK.

The World Health Organisation suggested in February that restrictions had a limited impact on the spread of the virus and measures that "significantly interfere with global traffic" may only be justified at the beginning of an outbreak.

The arrangements are due to come into effect on 8 June.

People coming from Ireland, medics tackling COVID-19 and seasonal agricultural workers will be exempt. Materials will be available in English and 9 other languages.

Arriving passengers will have to provide contact details and will be checked on regularly during the two weeks, the government said.

"The other point to note is that advice from Government and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is you're not to travel and to please follow the advice they are putting on their website, which is nothing but essential travel".

Anyone arriving by air, sea or rail will be advised to use personal transport to head to their accommodation, and once there not leave for 14 days.

During the period of self-isolation the arrivals will not be allowed to accept visitors, unless they are providing essential support, and they should not go out to buy food or other essentials "where they can rely on others." .

They will also be encouraged to download the contact tracing app, once it is available. The government confirmed there will be exemptions for freight drivers; doctors and scientists working on the pandemic; and fruit pickers, who will be expected to confine themselves to the farms where they work.

Saying that the government is "unafraid" to increase the penalties if that is necessary, Patel added: "We will review these temporary public health measures every three weeks to make sure they remain the right ones for our roadmap to recovery".

However, some lawmakers said quarantine should not be used to "punish" countries who 'have handled the coronavirus better than us'.

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