Flights: Travel expert warns quarantine could ‘increase number of coronavirus cases’

Flights: Travel expert warns quarantine could ‘increase number of coronavirus cases’

Flights from today will see travellers subjected to a 14-day quarantine period under new travel rules. The Home Office explains: “If you’re a resident or visitor travelling to the UK on or after 8 June, you must provide your journey and contact details, and not leave the place you’re staying for the first 14 days you’re in the UK except in very limited situations (known as ‘self-isolating’).”

He continued: “The fact that you step off an aircraft you’re presumed by the new law to be carrying COVID-19, even if you’ve come from a really safe country, but then immediately allowed to get on to public transport.

“The only way you can actually get the 14 days shorter is by leaving the country again, which of course would go against the current Foreign Office advice.

“Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, when she brought this in, said that it was backed by the public, it was guided by science and it would make us all safe.”

However, Calder claimed he had seen evidence to the contrary.

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“I’m afraid there’s actually an analysis which shows that it will increase the number of cases of coronavirus in the UK and actually be counterproductive,” he said.

The Independent’s analysis has shown that this is because the policy is “effectively preventing healthy British travellers going abroad, where they are less likely to be infected.”

British Airways, Ryanair and easyJet have taken the unusual step of uniting in the face of the quarantine rules.

The trio are challenging the regulations.

“British Airways, Ryanair and easyJet have written a legal letter to the government,” explained Calder.

“They said it’s disproportionate and botched.

“In fact, the legal action won’t be starting just yet and there’s an entirely separate group who are going for a judicial review, who will actually find they are going to be challenging the government as well to try to get this overturned.”

There is still hope for foreign travel, though.

“[The 14-day quarantine] does come up for review anyway in three weeks time and by that stage, of course, you might well find that the government has come up with these so-called air bridges,” said Calder.

He explained: “[These] are going to be bilateral deals which means that you and I can actually go to Greece, or Portugal, or wherever will have us, and come back and avoid the quarantine.”

For now, the Home Office explains what will happen if travellers coming to the UK do not obey the quarantine.

The government states: “Once the rules come into place you may be fined £100 if you refuse to provide your contact details in England (or £60 in Northern Ireland). You may be fined more if you break this rule more than once.

“You may be also fined £1,000 if you refuse to self-isolate in England or Northern Ireland, or you could face further action.”

Published at Mon, 08 Jun 2020 11:55:00 +0000