The new measures are part of what Hancock describes as a “no apologies” approach to rule breakers in order to protect the UK from importing new strains of Covid-19 that could increase the spread of the virus, spiking case numbers and fatalities. They will formally come into effect on the morning of February 15.
The system will see international arrivals get a £1,000 fine for failing to take a mandatory Covid test, a £2,000 fine and a 14-day quarantine period for refusing to take a second test, a £5,000-£10,000 fine if travellers fail to quarantine at a government-mandated hotel, and up to 10 years in prison if passengers lie on their locator form about being in a ‘red list’ country.
The UK government revealed these measures alongside a plan to strengthen testing, with individuals entering the UK required to take post-arrival tests on day two and day eight of their quarantine periods.
4,600 hotel rooms have been obtained by the government, with a plan to secure more, in order to ensure there is enough accommodation for international arrivals. Anyone quarantining after visiting one of the 33 ‘red list’ countries will have to pay £1,750 to cover the cost of their stay.
Parts of the UK are currently under a national lockdown, as the nation attempts to bring a third wave of Covid-19 under control. Since the start of the pandemic, Britain has recorded 3.9 million cases and 112,465 deaths from the disease.
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