United Kingdom

UK Border Force have issued just NINE Fixed Penalty Notices for quarantine breach so far

The UK's Border Force have issued just nine Fixed Penalty Notices to people breaching foreign arrival quarantine rules so far. 

Home Office figures revealed that fewer than ten people have been hit with the notices in relation to their completion of the passenger locator form.

The form allows arrivals from countries deemed high-risk - such as Spain, the US and Mexico - to tell authorities where they will be quarantining and provide contact details. 

Those who breach the government's rules can be met with fines of between £100 and £1,000. 

The UK's Border Force have issued just nine Fixed Penalty Notices to people breaching foreign arrival quarantine rules so far. Pictured: Passengers arriving into Heathrow Airport on July 30

It is not clear where those who were issued fines arrived from.

The first two border force fixed penalty notices were issued on Sunday 28 June at Coquelles to British nationals.

The individuals were referred to the police and were found to be complying with quarantine measures.  

These figures do not include the one person who has been fined by police.

A home office spokesperson said: 'The quarantine system is informed by science, backed by the public and designed to keep us all safe. 

'We are seeing a high level of compliance and we expect this to continue as everyone plays their part to help stop the spread of this disease.' 

The National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) released the figure on July 27, and will subsequently release the data every fortnight.  

On Friday, Rishi Sunak refused to quell speculation France could be the next destination added to the list of countries where arrivals must quarantine from. 

Figures released by the Home Office revealed that fewer than ten people have been hit with the notices in relation to their completion of the passenger locator form. Pictured: Passengers arriving into Heathrow Airport on July 30

Amid rising cases across much of the continent, the Chancellor warned that travellers needed to be aware that the situation was under 'constant review' and there was the 'risk' of disruption.

He said the government 'will not hesitate' to take action by imposing restrictions on flows from countries if necessary.

But lockdown-weary sunseekers angling for a summer break in France have begged for clarity after claims the country is 'highly likely' to be added to the 14-day quarantine list following a dramatic rise in infections.

Some said a potential quarantine would risk children not starting school in September.

Others said they were 'praying' that the Foreign Office's travel advice does not change and that the country's border remains upon for British travellers.

Jane Stone said her family of six, including two grandparents, their daughter and three grandchildren booked to go to a holiday park in France in August, as they do each year. 

Their holiday from August 21 was booked last October, long before any mention of coronavirus. 

Jane Stone said her family of six, including two grandparents, their daughter and three grandchildren booked to go to a holiday park in France in August, as they do each year. Pictured: Jane Stone sent in this picture of her family

Mother-of-two Becca Pountney said she is 'ready for a break and now it's looking increasingly unlikely we will make it'

Ms Stone told MailOnline yesterday: 'We cannot cancel, without losing our money, and find ourselves stuck waiting for a Government decision.

'Our son is already in the Dordogne, and as far as I am aware, oblivious to the current situation.'  

Mother-of-two Becca Pountney, of Bedfordshire-based Engage Weddings, said her parents have an apartment in the South of France and she was due to drive to the country for the end of the summer holidays.

She decided to go there because it was much cheaper for her than trying to holiday in the UK 'where the prices are high and there are so many people'.

Ms Pountney added: 'I own my own business as a wedding blogger and consultant to the wedding industry, so I have spent the last four months supporting couples and business owners who have had their whole year in business destroyed or had their wedding days cancelled.

'I'm just ready for a break and now it's looking increasingly unlikely we will make it. I have two children who haven't been to school since March and I don't want the quarantine to impact their return to school.

'I understand it's risky trying to holiday in a pandemic - but we just need the government to make a decision soon so we can work out what happens next.'

Matt Richards wrote on Twitter: 'Yes, a potential quarantine for me and my wife is not the end of the world. But 14 days quarantine would mean my children would miss the first week back at school and they've been off since March.' 

Families demand clarity on the rules before thousands of them go on holiday and risk children not starting school in September

Rachel Arnold, of Cheshire, said: 'We want to go to France next week, Charente area, low Covid. Staying at a secluded house, no one else there. Thinking now not to go as 'threat' of quarantine looming. Ironically can't afford to do a ten-day holiday here.' 

And Sarah Eaves, from North London, tweeted: 'Please make a decision on France in the next 24 hours before thousands of us with families go on holiday and risk children not starting school. Quarantine means we can cancel and get ££ back.' 

Another worried holidaymaker, Emma Lewis, tweeted: 'We're due to drive through France to get to Italy in early September. Praying the French border stays open and FCO (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) advice for France doesn't change.'

But Michael Porter, of Halifax, West Yorkshire, said he had cancelled a trip on Tuesday to go to France this Saturday for his wife's 60th birthday. 

On a visit to Glasgow yesterday, Rishi Sunak delivered a stark warning to Britons amid fears France could be the next holiday destination to face coronavirus curbs

And Twitter user Jamie, from London, said: 'As father of the bride I have a wedding to attend in France on the 17th, so yes I'll be going but need to work on my return or go bankrupt. So pay the fine or hire a pedalo.'

Meanwhile Matt Groombridge, from Deal, Kent, said: 'Two-week quarantine imminent travelling to/from France... holiday was timed well, and it means I'll get some peace and quiet on the ferry again.' 

The number of daily coronavirus cases in the country has risen in recent days, with 1,695 new infections being recorded just yesterday, as it battles to avoid a second wave of Covid-19. The seven-day rolling average of confirmed cases has doubled from under 10 per million of population on Jul 21 to 19.33 yesterday. By contrast the UK's is around 12 cases per million people.  

It is thought that if the decision is made to add France to the list, thousands of British holidaymakers may cancel their trips in order to avoid the two-week quarantine. Pictured: Beach-goers in Saint Jean de Luz, southwestern France, yesterday

Cases of coronavirus measures per million of population have been running higher in France than in the UK recently

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced on Thursday that the Bahamas, Andorra and Belgium are being taken off the UK's quarantine-exemption list with little more than 24 hours' notice.

In a round of interviews on a visit to Scotland yesterday, Mr Sunak said: 'It's a tricky situation. What I can say to people is we are in the midst of a global pandemic, and that means there is always the risk of disruption to travel plans. People need to bear that in mind.

'It is the right thing for us to do to keep everything under review on a constant basis to be talking with our scientists, our medical advisers.

'If we need to take action, as you have seen overnight, we will not hesitate to do that. But in the meantime people should just continue to look at the guidance and take everything into account.' 

Two months of strict lockdown seemed to put the country on track in its fight against the pandemic - but it is now once again recording around 1,219 new cases a day (graphic showing growing number of daily coronavirus cases in France)

There are still a number of destinations on the government's quarantine-free list - but ministers have warned that the situation can change quickly

The developments in France come after its scientific committee stated earlier this week that the situation was 'under control, but precarious. We could at any moment tip into a scenario that is less under control.' 

It added: 'The short term future of the pandemic mainly lies in the hands of the population. It is highly likely that we will experience a second epidemic wave this autumn or winter.' 

The statement said the virus 'has recently been circulating more actively, with an increased loss of distancing and barrier measures' since France emerged from its strict two-month lockdown in May.

'The balance is fragile and we can change course at any time to a less controlled scenario like in Spain for example,' it said.  

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