UK & US

Police could spot check HOMES to ensure quarantine rules followed

A NEW law proposed to MPs could give police officers the power to conduct spot check at homes to certify international arrivals are complying with the quarantine measures.

Today, the Government is expected to unveil plans for a mandatory quarantine imposed to all international arrivals, including Britons coming back from their holidays abroad. The move could see travellers provide their address upon arrival where they will self-isolate for 14 days.

Border Force, police and Public Health England (PHE) officers will ensure people comply with the measures by carrying out spot checks at the address provided.

It is expected officers do about 100 spot checks a day.

Those who flout the quarantine could face fines of at least £1,000 while it is believed magistrates can issue unlimited fines for continual breaches or noncompliance.

The rulings, which are expected to fall under the Health Protection Act, will not be implemented before June.

Some Tory MPs could oppose the proposal as they do not agree with the timing to introduce the measures now that Britain is trying to lift lockdown measures to reactivate the economy.

Number 10 and the Home Office have not confirmed whether there would be a vote but there could be calls for a discussion and vote.

Senior Tories showed signs on Thursday night that they might not approve of the proposal.

Sir Iain Duncan Smith, the former Tory leader, has branded the Governments move as “confusing.”

He said: “The Government needs to rethink this quickly and not go into quarantine.

“If they got their testing level up, then anyone coming in would be tested and put on the tracking app.”

Steve Baker, a Conservative MP and former chairman of the European Research Group, told The Telegraph earlier this week: “I am at a loss to understand why they are talking about quarantine now.

“We should be taking every possible measure to open up society and the economy and get things going, otherwise the economic and clinical cost is going to be far too high.

“What we have learned about the virus means that we can shield the vulnerable and respect peoples individual choices to behave appropriately so we can open up society as quickly as possible.”

The Government has not yet made any official announcements when it comes to quarantine reviews, but it is expected to confirm that the lockdown measures will be reviewed every three weeks.

However, it has repeatedly said quarantine is necessary to prevent a second spike in infections from travellers who have the virus.

Those who arrive in the UK from abroad will be urged to download the NHS contact tracing app.

Border Force and Public Health England will have the power to accommodate people who do not have a UK address in Government-approved facilities.

Airlines and travel businesses believe an extended quarantine will risk even more job positions and delay the industrys restart.

John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow chief executive, said on Thursday: “If they think that quarantine is the right thing to do I think we have to go with that, but it has to be time-limited and we have to plan for what comes next.

“The idea of air bridges … is a very sensible way of doing that.

“There is no perfect way to make sure only healthy people fly at this stage, so we have to take a risk-based approach.

“As the level of transmission comes down in this country and in other countries, we need to find a way that the vast, vast, vast majority of people who dont have a disease can still fly.”

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