Irish and French exempt from new 14-day quarantine rules for arrivals to UK
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Irish and French exempt from new 14-day quarantine rules for arrivals to UK

A NEW measure being introduced in the ongoing fight against Covid-19 in Britain will see those arriving in the UK from abroad subject to quarantine for 14 days at a registered address.

However, the new regulation, announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday, will not apply to anyone arriving from the Republic of Ireland or France, it has since been confirmed.

While no definite date had been given for the introduction of the measure, Mr Johnson’s explained: “To prevent re-infection from abroad, I am serving notice that it will soon be the time – with transmission significantly lower – to impose quarantine on people coming into this country by air.”

The measures, which are expected to come into force by the end of the month will mean that all passengers arriving at airports or seaports — including returning UK citizens — will have to provide an address where they will self-isolate for 14 days.

Authorities will carry out spot checks, and those found breaking the rules will face a fine of up to £1,000, and, if not UK or Irish citizens, face deportation.

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Minister Dominic Raab, speaking on the BBC News this morning, after Prime Minister Johnson’s speech to the nation, made it clear that the restrictions would apply to all arrivals in the UK, not just those by air.

Those involved in the freight industry, such as lorry drivers, would be exempt, along with Irish and French citizens.

Some 100,000 people have arrived in the UK since March 23, when the UK lockdown began.

Prior to the Sunday statement, Dublin businessman Willie Walsh, the CEO of  International Airlines Group (IAG) - the parent company of British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus, Vueling and LEVEL, said British Airlines would not restart flying if the UK imposed a quarantine.

Mr Walsh was due to retire at the end of March but has stayed on as CEO to guide IAG through the pandemic crisis.

Despite seeking clarification from the British government’s aviation minister on Sunday, airline and airport bosses, including Willie Walsh, remained unclear on basic details of the proposed quarantine measures.

No timeline was given to them as to when the system would come into force, when it might end and whether they would be continuously reviewed.

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