Quarantine rules that left British travellers horrified a few weeks ago, won’t come into play until next month, according to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps. During Transport Questions in the House of Commons this afternoon, Mr Shapps revealed that the stringent rules won’t be introduced until early June. He said: “The final details of the quarantine scheme will be released soon and come in early next month.”
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The new rules were included in an announcement by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on May 10.
He told the nation that anyone flying into the UK from abroad would be subject to 14 days in quarantine to make sure they have not contracted the virus.
Travellers from abroad will be required to notify the Government of where they are staying during that time period.
Anyone caught breaking the quarantine rules could face fines of up to £1,000.
Once they have been in quarantine for 14 days, they will then be allowed to mix with the general population.
A spokesperson for the Prime Minister said that work on the quarantine plans is continuing.
They added: “Any changes brought in will be subject to a rolling review every three weeks to ensure they are in line with the latest scientific advice and that they remain effective and necessary.”
The new rules have devastated airlines and other industries in the travel and tourism sectors who rely on Britons holidaying abroad in the summer months for income.
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However, despite the new quarantine rules, airlines Ryanair and TUI have each announced that they plan to re-start flights in July on a small scale, subject to Foreign and Commonwealth Office guidelines.
The exceptions to the rules include those travelling from Ireland and the Common Travel Area which includes the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.
Mr Shapps also revealed that the Government is in “active discussions” over introducing “air bridges” which will allow people entering the UK from countries with an ‘R’ rate lower than 1 to be exempt without having to quarantine.
He said in the Commons: “It is the case that we should indeed consider improvements for example ‘air bridges’ enabling people from other areas or countries who have themselves achieved lower levels of coronavirus infection to come to the country.
“Those are active discussions that will go beyond what will initially be a blanket situation.”
Other countries have also introduced quarantine measures, including Spain.
Britons hoping to visit Spain this year for a holiday now face the possibility of having to take five weeks off for a one-week holiday.
When they arrive in Spain, they will have to quarantine for 14 days, then spend a week on holiday before then flying back to the UK for another two weeks in quarantine.
But Twitter users have been left angry with the delay in quarantine rules, expressing their views on the social media site.
One user said: “But surely introducing the quarantine policy now is pointless.
“Most countries are removing that policy. The UK introducing it is self flagellation at best.”
Another said: “So I can go away to Spain for a week, social distance and expect to quarantine for two weeks back in the UK.
“But I could hop on a train now to London, tubes etc and be ok?!”
Another Twitter user said the quarantine rules were at least “10 weeks too late”.
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