United Kingdom

Police could use 'reasonable force' to make you self-isolate for 14 days

From Monday, any travellers arriving in England from abroad will have to self-isolate for 14 days, with a range of potential punishments for not following the new law. 

If people flout the rules, introduced by Home Secretary Priti Patel today, they risk being fined, prosecuted or even deported, with police officers allowed to use 'reasonable force' to ensure the law is followed.  

The controversial traveller quarantine has been introduced by the government to try and battle the spread of coronavirus. 

Currently, they only apply to people travelling to England but separate legislation is expected to follow this week for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.   

Under the new legislation, travellers heading to England will be expected to fill out a form online on gov.uk up to 48 hours in advance of travel.

They will have to provide contact information, details of their journey and an address where they plan to self-isolate once they arrive in the country.

The government's new travel laws will come into effect on Monday, with travellers to England required to quarantine fro 14 days

If you are unable to fill out this form before your journey, facilities will be provided at the border so you can do so. 

If travellers still do not fill out the form, they could be issued with a fine. 

Airlines will be expected to check whether people have filled out the forms in advance, but they will not be required to turn people away if they haven't.

By the time you arrive in the UK, the form must have been filled out, or else travellers risk being fined.   

The government has vowed that any personal details shared by travellers cannot be used for any reason other than in conjunction with these laws.

The law also appears to suggest information provided by passengers cannot be used in criminal proceedings against them unless they relate to breaches of the quarantine regulations.  

Travellers are urged to use cars or other forms of private transport to travel from the airport when they arrive in the UK.  

Passengers in a queue at Stansted Airport, Essex, to check in for a flight to Adana, Turkey. Under the rules, you must fill out a form before travelling to England

Failure to do so, or to quarantine, could results in fines or even deportations with police allowed to use 'reasonable force' to ensure rules are followed

If they must use public transport, they are advised to take the most direct route possible to their accommodation and follow guidance such as wearing face masks. 

UK travellers can go back to their home and self-isolate there.

But people can also isolate in the home of a friend or relative, a hotel, hostel, bed and breakfast, or 'other suitable' accommodation.

More than one address can be provided if a 'legal obligation' requires a person to change addresses, or it is necessary for them to stay overnight on their arrival in England before 'travelling directly to another address at which they will be self-isolating'.

Who is exempt from the new travel laws to England? 

  • Transit passengers: someone passing through the UK en route to another destination without setting foot here.
  • Road haulage workers or road passenger transport workers: this includes those driving goods vehicles and freight, and a "public service vehicle driver", described as some who drives a vehicle adapted to carry more than eight passengers.
  • Seamen, pilots, inspectors and ship surveyors: travelling to the UK for work, or who are repatriated.
  • Air crew: in the UK for work.
  • Civil aviation inspectors: in the UK while on inspection duties.
  • Shuttle staff, operational and rail maintenance workers: in the UK for work.
  • A Crown servant or government contractor: required to undertake essential policing or essential government work in the UK within two weeks of their arrival.
  • Extradition escort: including a representative of any territory travelling to the UK in order to take someone into custody.
  • Essential or emergency workers: including those relating to water and sewerage services, utilities, energy, chemical weaponry inspector.
  • Someone carrying out a critical function at a space site, an aerospace engineer.
  • A postal operator: travelling to the UK in the course of their work.
  • A worker with specialist technical skills: where those specialist technical skills are required for essential or emergency works or services, such as continued production, supply, movement, manufacture, storage or preservation of goods. 
  •  Someone receiving healthcare, someone accompanying them, or an organ donor: where they will travel directly to before self-isolating, likewise someone transporting human cells or tissue for healthcare purposes.
  • Health or care professional: working within 14 days of their arrival in the UK.
  • Someone taking part in a clinical trial.
  • Someone working in 'essential infrastructure industries': including telecoms and technology.
  • A person who works in the UK but lives abroad, or the other way around, and travels between the two countries at least once a week.
  • Seasonal agricultural or farm workers: including those processing crops, packing and harvesting.

Anyone who cannot provide a suitable address will be provided accommodation by the government, like a hotel.

Friends and family will not need to isolate with the people who have arrived, unless they have also travelled. 

But they should avoid contact with anyone they are staying with and minimise time spent in shared areas and use separate bathrooms if possible.

Refusing to fill out the form or self-isolate can lead to a range of punishments.   

You could be fined £100 for not filling out the form, doubling for each offence up to a maximum of £3,200.

Breaching the self-isolation stipulation would result in a £1,000 fine and could lead to prosecution and then a potentially unlimited fine.

Travellers could even be deported, but authorities in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will decide separately on immigration policy for this.

A section of the law also states that 'authorised' persons, such as police, can use 'reasonable force' to make you comply with the rules. 

To monitor travellers,  spot checks will be carried out by officials, such as Border Force officers, as travellers arrive at airports and ports to make sure they have filled out the forms.

In extreme circumstances, Border Force officers could refuse entry to any non-British citizen or non-British resident who has decided not to fill in the form or not take part in the self-isolation period.

The government has also threatened to carry out spot checks around the country to make sure people are complying.

In the first instance public health authorities, using private contractors, will phone people and question them to establish whether they are self-isolating.

If there is concern they are not complying, they could be reported to the police.

There is even a risk travellers could face questions from officials as they try to leave the country again if they could not be tracked down during the self-isolation period.

The government also published a list of exemptions to the quarantine rules. 

They include road haulage and freight workers; medical professionals travelling to help the coronavirus effort; anyone moving from within the common travel area covering Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man; and seasonal agricultural workers who will self-isolate on the property where they are working.

So far no exemptions have been made for elite athletes, throwing the future of professional sporting events, such as the Champions League, into doubt. 

The rules will be reviewed every three weeks, so will be in place until at least June 29 but could last as long as a year, when the legislation expires.

Holidaymakers are also facing an uncertain future after the rules were announced.  

Officials have said until such time as the Foreign Office lifts the advice against all but essential travel, people should take that into account and bear in mind implications for their trip and any conditions on their holiday insurance.

Football news:

Kike Setien: Griezmann played a great match, understood Messi well, scored a great goal. We changed something
Barca President on the Real Madrid match: VAR always favours one team. I have an unpleasant feeling
Faty scored the 9,000 th goal in the history of Barcelona
Griezmann scored in La Liga for the first time since February with a pass from Messi
Suarez came out on the 3rd place in the list of the best Barca Goalscorers in history
Guardiola lost 3 away games in a row in the League for the first time in his career
About Lautaro Marotta: He has not shown the slightest desire to leave