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Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson stands outside 10 Downing Street to join in the nationwide Clap for Carers to recognise and support National Health Service (NHS) workers and carers fighting the coronavirus pandemic, in London, on Thursday. Photo: AP
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UK to quarantine arrivals for 2 weeks

30 Comments
By JILL LAWLESS

People arriving in the UK next month will have to quarantine themselves for 14 days and could face an unlimited fine if they fail to comply, the British government announced Friday.

The quarantine plan has sparked confusion and criticism from airlines, airports and lockdown-weary Britons wondering whether they will get to take a vacation abroad this summer.

Britain did not close its borders during the worst of the country’s coronavirus outbreak, which has been linked to more than 36,000 deaths in the UK. It is introducing its quarantine just as many other European countries are starting to open up again.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said the rules will take effect June 8 and will apply to arrivals from all countries except Ireland, which has a longstanding free-movement agreement with the UK. Ireland is expected to announce similar measures for people arriving there.

Patel said that as transmission of the virus within the UK slows, the quarantine will help prevent imported cases and stop a “devastating" second wave of the virus.

There will be exemptions for truckers and freight workers, front-line medics and seasonal agricultural laborers.

Britons returning from overseas will also have to stay home and avoid mixing with others for 14 days under the measures, which will be reviewed every three weeks.

That is bad news for those hoping for a foreign summer holiday. Patel told a news conference that the government advice remained “very clear: nothing but essential travel” outside the country,

Arriving passengers will have to provide contact details and will be checked on regularly during the two weeks, the government said. They will also be “encouraged” to download a contact-tracing app that authorities are developing -- if the glitch-filled app is ever put into use.

Breaches can be punished with a 1,000 pound ($1,220) spot fine, or by prosecution and an unlimited fine.

There has been confusion about the UK policy, after the government initially said it would not apply to people arriving from France. That prompted a rebuke from the European Union, which wants a coordinated policy across the 27-nation bloc.

Britain later said France would not be exempt.

Airlines have warned that the British move could hobble their efforts to rebuild a business devastated by pandemic-related travel restrictions.

Tim Alderslade, chief executive of trade body Airlines UK, said a blanket quarantine was “just about the worst thing government could do if their aim is to restart the economy.”

Many European nations shut their borders in March as the pandemic took hold, and are now easing those restrictions.

Greece’s long-awaited tourist season will begin on June 15 with the opening of seasonal hotels and the arrival of the first foreign visitors, while international flights will begin heading directly for holiday destinations from July 1. Arriving passengers won’t be routinely screened for the virus but could be subject to sample testing.

Some countries' plans to reopen to foreign visitors are spurring national and regional tensions as the summer tourist season approaches.

Italy, the onetime epicenter of Europe’s pandemic, is opening to European travel on June 3, the same date that it is allowing Italians to move outside their regions for pleasure. But some regions are taking precautions to ensure that the sudden reopening doesn’t create new infection clusters. Sardinia’s governor has suggested he might require visitors to the island to certify they had tested negative for the virus within the past week, or submit to a test on arrival.

The Tuscany regional government says on its website that any visitor from abroad or another Italian region must undergo quarantine for 14 days. It’s unknown if Tuscany, which fills with British and German tourists in summer, will revise that rule as June 3 approaches.

France says it may quarantine people arriving from an area “where the virus is circulating,” but it has not published a list of targeted areas. The French presidency said those coming from EU countries, from Britain and from the passport-free Schengen area will be exempted.

Cyprus plans to open up June 9 to commercial flights from a short list of countries with low COVID-19 infection rates, including Greece, Germany and Norway. The list will be expanded to several more countries on June 20.

Some European regions and tour operators have called for “tourism corridors” between areas with low rates of the coronavirus. Britain has said it is considering the idea, but Italy has condemned it, fearing it will exclude the country, which has seen more than 32,000 COVID-19 deaths.

© Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.


30 Comments
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Britain did not close its borders during the worst of the country’s coronavirus outbreak...

Insane. What the heck were they thinking?

10 ( +12 / -2 )

What the article doesn't say is that the restriction does not apply to Ireland. So anyone who flies via Ireland is fine.

This may sound crazy to you. That's because it is.

And the whole approach of the UK government has been disastrous. Embarrassing, frankly.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

I'll wait to next year to go anywhere.Just looks too much hassle now with masks,gloves,restrictions etc.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Governmental incompetence appears to be the biggest threat not the virus itself.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Look at the UK’s death toll. It’s unbelievable that this wasn’t done months ago.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Insane. What the heck were they thinking?

Don't you know? "Thinking" (about the welfare of the people) has never been high on the agenda of the English ruling class. This has been especially the case since Thatcher opined, "there is no such thing as society" and the country fell into the clutches of right-wing ideologues who have steered society into the abyss. "Jester" Johnson has recently had occasion to rethink her dictum after his life was saved by "society" and, thanks to corona, the transition to sanity and the blue print of a new "society fit for heroes" (front-line workers) may be on the cards, if only the people can "take back control" from the present shower.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

The pandemic is very tragic in the UK and the government failed in its response. Johnson's own personal adviser  Dominic Cummings broke the lockdown and travelled to Durham, after showing symptoms of coronavirus,

He should be gone.

As the Prime Minister faced increasing criticism of his handling of the pandemic his mental sharpness was questioned from within his own party.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Maybe they'll add a new wing to airports "Testing/Quarantine" that you go to for 30 minutes (that's if they get mass testing kits) before picking up your luggage at "Customs".

This will be the new way of traveling by plane.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Zichi, you were adamant I was wrong when I said the borders were still completely open. You then said the number was minimal and wouldn't be a problem. Then you said it wouldn't have made the pandemic in the UK worse.

When I also said that closing the border would have saved lives, again, you were adamant that it wouldn't have.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Tangerine2000

Zichi, you were adamant I was wrong when I said the borders were still completely open.

I didn't say that. I thought the air arrivals from infected countries were banned, which they are not, but the numbers travelling are greatly reduced.

The government stated it wasn't necessary and wouldn't increase the pandemic, I didn't say that.

The government have failed to deal with the pandemic and have lost control of the people with mass numbers breaking the lockdown.

It will take many years for the country to recover. The cost to day is more than 350 million pounds. About six times normal borrowing.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Dishonest. Dishonest and selective amnesia.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Scenes yesterday of thousands of people packing onto the beaches in England in the middle of a 21 degrees heatwave. No social distancing whatsoever. Medical workers are outraged.

There is no question at all, there WILL be a fierce second wave. I fear for the citizens of the UK.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

There is no question at all, there WILL be a fierce second wave.

There is no guarantee of that, cobber. It may be possible or even likely but you are not qualified to make that kind of statement.

As for the UK’s handling of this, other European countries were gobsmacked at how inept it was. Johnson is way out of his depth. He’s a show pony who is good at grabbing a headline and a photo-op, but never had the discipline, focus or ability to lead in a crisis.

Cameron, May and Johnson have been disastrous.

Labour - get your act together.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

It will take many years for the country to recover. The cost to day is more than 350 million pounds. About six times normal borrowing.

That should be 350 billion pounds with normal government borrowing about 60 billion. Six times more.

Higher taxes and public service cuts, once again. All the things it was claimed would happen with a Labour government.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

What the article doesn't say is that the restriction does not apply to Ireland. So anyone who flies via Ireland is fine.

From the article

the rules will take effect June 8 and will apply to arrivals from all countries except Ireland, which has a longstanding free-movement agreement with the UK. Ireland is expected to announce similar measures for people arriving there.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Very good, Toasted, very good....

2 ( +2 / -0 )

There is no question at all, there WILL be a fierce second wave. I fear for the citizens of the UK.

Stop being so negative.It contributes nothing except YOUR negative hopes.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Still allowing foreigners in? This is one of the reasons why the UK got itself into this mess in the first place. I would have thought with Brexiteers at the helm, they would have relished closing off the borders. It seems UK and Japan are on opposite extremes.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I would have thought with Brexiteers at the helm, they would have relished closing off the borders. *

Aye. But the truth is the Conservative party are in favour of mass immigration. It is the highest its ever been in UK history.

https://twitter.com/afneil/status/1263397197682442242

We also have hundreds of people entering the UK illegally, on small boats every day. Worth bearing in mind that these are only the people we know about. The number is a lot higher.

https://twitter.com/Nigel_Farage/status/1263119692484481025

You've got the French Navy escorting illegal immigrants into British waters and the UK Border Force ferrying them into the UK. The Tories are in cahoots with all of it. Priti Patel is seen as an extreme far-right, anti-immigrant Home Secretary by some on the left. She's nothing of the sort, she's completely pro increased migration. During her watch, Non-EU immigration is the highest its ever been, illegal immigration is being supported by the government, and EU immigration is still sky high.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Three months too late. Why close the stable door after the horse has bolted?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

> https://twitter.com/Nigel_Farage/status/1263119692484481025

Always curious why some link to far right discredited loons like Farage etc.

Even here in Japan, they try to spread their poison.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Three months too late. Why close the stable door after the horse has bolted?

There may be some logic to it. While the UK was in internal lockdown, people arriving from overseas were unlikely to interact with others. As lockdown restrictions are eased, the chance of foreign visitors interacting increases. (OK, perhaps not the strongest of arguments. )

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Always curious why some link to far right discredited loons like Farage etc.

Just proves that you haven't watched it.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

You've got the French Navy escorting illegal immigrants into British waters 

That's described differently by others.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-52772136

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Just proves that you haven't watched it.

He never claimed to have watched it and is under no obligation to.

The only novelty here is that this is s link to Twitter. Normally on JT people post YouTube links to far right conspiracy sites when they want to back up their claims.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

That's described differently by others.

Yes, half-described.

The BBC like to leave out the fact that the British and French governments have an agreement where the French navy receives funding from the UK to ensure that migrants don't attempt to make the crossing. They aren't supposed to be shadowing the boats.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2020/05/21/real-scandal-illegal-immigration-country-collusion-french-navy/

It's interesting that the BBC article contains the following quotation:

"International law is that health and safety must come first and any vessel that sees another vessel that's in that state, with women and children on board, with no navigation equipment, at risk of drowning, should immediately take measures to take them on board."

From the videos uploaded so far, 90% of the illegal immigrants are men.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

He never claimed to have watched it and is under no obligation to.

I never said he was obliged to.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@Tangerine2000

It's interesting that the BBC article contains the following quotation:

I'm not sure why it's so interesting. Whether a ship is trying to stop or help another vessel, it shouldn't risk the lives of those on the vessel. When a boat is sailing away from you, it is not safe to stop it or rescue those on board. Your only option is to shadow it. (Farage sees it as "escorting".)

The article also contains this quote:

[Migrants] have seen that if you can get close to a British vessel, then essentially you are guaranteed to be taken into one of our ports and you are pretty well guaranteed

It seems these migrants aren't daft. Pull up next to a British vessel and you will be taken to Britain. (We perhaps need more smart folk like those in the UK.)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Tangerine2000

I think links to Nigel Farage and the Telegraph need to be taken with a pinch of salt.

I think you need a more varied media diet.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Sounds reasonable. This Covid-19 needs to be taken seriously.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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