“Coronavirus passports” and non-quarantine travel pacts could be introduced

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Antivirus passports and travel lanes could allow families to travel abroad this summer.

A quarantine regime will be introduced on June 8, requiring arrivals to the UK to self-isolate for 14 days. But the ministers hope to conclude quarantine pacts or “air bridges with summer destinations – like France, Spain and Greece – by August and possibly July.

They are also examining the idea of ​​”Covid passports” to allow those who have had the disease to travel more widely and without having to quarantine when they return.

Interior Minister Priti Patel said she was “absolutely open” to the idea of ​​air bridges between nations creating new hope for Britons wishing to travel abroad during the summer months.

The new border regime will apply to almost all arrivals, including the incoming British.

Rule breakers face an initial fine of £ 1,000. Additional non-compliance could result in unlimited fines.

Limited quarantine exemptions will be granted to truckers, seasonal fruit pickers and a small number of essential workers.

The ban was reportedly challenged by several cabinet ministers, including transportation secretary Grant Shapps and business secretary Alok Sharma.

Antivirus passports and travel lanes could allow families to travel abroad this summer. Pictured: Passengers wearing PPE line up to board a flight to China at Terminal 2 at Heathrow Airport today

Antivirus passports and travel lanes could allow families to travel abroad this summer. In the photo: Passengers wearing PPE line up to board a flight to China at Terminal 2 at Heathrow Airport today

Passengers wearing personal protective equipment line up to board a flight at Heathrow Airport today

Passengers wearing personal protective equipment line up to board a flight at Heathrow Airport today

Ms. Patel said, “Regarding the airlift, look, I think we should be absolutely open to any ideas. “

“It is not for today, but that does not mean that we should exclude it in the future. “

Patel said quarantine was vital to prevent new cases of coronavirus from being imported from abroad.

But the policy has been criticized by the aviation and tourism sectors, the business community at large and even some Conservative MPs.

The ministers hope to conclude quarantine pacts with summer destinations - such as France, Spain and Greece (Santorini, photo) - by August and possibly July.

The ministers hope to conclude quarantine pacts with summer destinations – such as France, Spain and Greece (Santorini, photo) – by August and possibly July.

Plexiglas panels protect a parasol and deckchairs as a preventive measure to slow the spread of the coronavirus in Santorini

Plexiglas panels protect a parasol and deckchairs as a preventive measure to slow the spread of the coronavirus in Santorini

Priti Patel announced today that all travelers returning to the UK from abroad will face 14 mandatory quarantine days

The new strict rules

What’s going to happen?

All passengers arriving in the UK will need to complete a form before traveling to Britain. This will include returning UK nationals, as well as foreign visitors. You must provide the address where you will be staying in the UK – and isolate yourself there. You will not be allowed to leave this address or receive visitors for 14 days.

How will it work?

Passengers will be able to complete the “contact location form” on the government’s website up to 48 hours before departure. There will be no paper version of the form. Failure to complete the form before traveling is a crime, but there will be a short grace period and will allow travelers to complete the form electronically in the Arrivals Hall.

How will it be applied?

There will be spot checks to ensure that all passengers have completed a form. Border personnel will interrogate people when they leave planes and at border checkpoints.

What happens if I refuse to fill out a contact search form?

Border forces officers will fine you £ 100 on the spot.

When will it take effect?

June 8.

What checks will take place during the 14 day period?

Public health officials will conduct random checks over the phone. If in doubt, the police will go to the address and fine if necessary.

What happens if I leave the address I provide on the form?

In England, you will receive a cash fine of £ 1,000. You could even be prosecuted and subject to an unlimited fine if convicted. The fine could increase beyond £ 1,000 if the “risk of infection from abroad increases,” according to the Home Office. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will have their own application systems.

Will foreign visitors be treated differently?

Yes. They could be removed from the UK “as a last resort” if they fail to comply, according to the Home Office. Officials could also refuse entry to non-British nationals residing here. But they cannot refuse entry to British nationals.

Can I use public transportation to get from the airport to my isolation address?

Yes, but the Home Office says it would be best if you used your car.

Why is all this necessary?

The government says it should be able to contact you if it appears, for example, that someone on your flight is diagnosed with a coronavirus. And if you get sick, the authorities can notify everyone you have been in contact with.

What happens if I don’t have an appropriate address to go for 14 days?

The government will provide seclusion accommodation – perhaps in places similar to that used by travelers returning from China earlier this year. The traveler will have to pay for it.

Backcountry MP David Davis said quarantine should not be used to “punish” countries that “have handled coronavirus better than we do.”

Labor MP Ben Bradshaw responded to Mr. Davis’ tweet by saying, “I don’t often agree with David Davis, but he’s right that there are better reasons to quarantine arrivals at Yorkshire Kings Cross as arrivals from low infection countries such as Greece, Malta and Portugal. ‘

Different regions of the UK have a different R rate, which is used to indicate how quickly the virus spreads.

R rates calculated by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine this week suggest that the East Midlands have the fastest spread of infection, with a rate between 0.8 and 1.2.

In contrast, London, which has been the hardest hit part of the UK, has a current R rate of 0.5-0.8, the lowest in the country.

The government had previously confirmed that it would not change the lifting of the regional lockout.

Tim Alderslade, of the Airlines UK industry group, said: “All that a general quarantine will do is shut down the aviation and travel industry.

“We need to be much more focused and risk-based, opening travel lanes with low-risk countries that more effectively meet our public health goals while allowing people to escape this summer. “

Adam Marshall of the British Chambers of Commerce said general restrictions “would damage the confidence of international companies and investors at a time when it is vital to demonstrate that the United Kingdom can open its doors safely”.

Charlie Cornish, CEO of Stansted Airport in Essex, said: “A global quarantine will seriously jeopardize the long term future of the sector and endanger tens of thousands of jobs and billions of pounds of economic value. “

The rules, which will be reviewed every three weeks and do not apply to Ireland, are as follows:

  • It has emerged that London could pave the way for a foreclosure, with discussions next week on whether to open cafes and restaurants for outside service.
  • An exclusive Mail survey suggested that employees don’t want to return to work because they fear the lock will be released too quickly;
  • Health officials have suggested that the two-meter rule could be relaxed;
  • A dispute has broken out over official advice from government scientists regarding the reopening of schools;
  • The country’s top obesity and diabetes doctor said families were likely to have gained weight during the lockout;
  • Official figures show that government borrowing reached £ 62 billion last month – almost as much as last year;
  • Scientists reacted to the official response to the pandemic, suggesting that the lockout period could have cost the life;
  • Council bosses and police have started to take drastic measures to keep vacationers away from beauty spots on public holidays;
  • The head of the NHS has suggested that he could fill thousands of vacancies by retraining staff from troubled sectors such as airlines;
  • The test czar said that thousands of kits sent to homes had not been returned;

Who is exempt from government obligation

Here is the list of people who are exempt from the 14-day self-isolation requirement.

– A road carrier and a passenger carrier by road

– A passenger in transit, a person in transit to a country outside the common travel area, who remains airside and does not pass border control

– A person arriving to undergo a pre-established treatment, when he receives this treatment in the United Kingdom

– A licensed healthcare or healthcare professional traveling to the UK to provide essential healthcare, including when not related to the coronavirus

– A person who has traveled to the United Kingdom for the purpose of transporting material made up or comprising human cells or blood to a health care provider in the United Kingdom which must be used for the purpose of providing care health

– Quality assurance inspectors for medicines for human use

– Sponsors and essential people necessary for clinical trials or studies

– Civil aviation inspectors on inspection mission

– Eurotunnel train drivers and crew, Eurotunnel shuttle drivers, freight train drivers, essential cross-border rail freight crew and workers operating in the Channel Tunnel

– A Euratom inspector

– Workers engaged in essential or emergency work related to water supply and sanitation services

– Workers engaged in essential or emergency work related to a production system, an electrical interconnector, an urban heating network, collective heating, automated ballast cleaning and track repositioning systems or networks

– A worker carrying out activities in offshore installations, upstream petroleum infrastructure, critical safety work on offshore installations and wells

– Workers engaged in essential or emergency work

– Train drivers and crews operated by Eurostar International Limited, essential cross-border workers working for Eurostar International Limited

– Operational workers, railway maintenance, safety and security working on the Channel Tunnel system

– A worker with specialized technical skills, when these specialized technical skills are required for essential or emergency works or services

– Sailors and masters

– A pilot, within the meaning of subsection 22 (1) of Schedule 3A to the Shipping Act

– A ship inspector and expert

– Crew, as defined in paragraph 1 of Annex 1 to the Air Navigation Order 2016 (h), when this crew went to the United Kingdom during their work

– Nuclear personnel essential for the safe and secure operation of an authorized nuclear site

– Nuclear emergency responder

– Agency inspector

– An inspector from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, a specialized aerospace engineer or a specialized aerospace worker

– A person carrying out the operations, maintenance or security of a downstream petroleum installation with a capacity greater than 20,000 tonnes

– A postal worker involved in the transport of mail to and from the United Kingdom

– A person involved in essential maintenance and repair of the data infrastructure

– An IT or telecommunications professional whose expertise is required to provide an essential or emergency response to security threats and incidents

– A person who is engaged in urgent or essential work on electronic communications networks

– A person who is engaged in urgent or essential work for the BBC broadcasting network and transmission services

– A seasonal farm worker

– Members of diplomatic missions and consular posts in the United Kingdom

– Crown officials or government contractors returning to the United Kingdom who are: required to undertake police or essential government work in the United Kingdom within 14 days of arrival, have undertaken services police or essential government work outside the UK but are required to return temporarily, after which they will leave to carry out police or essential government work outside the UK

– International prison escorts – a person designated by the competent minister under section 5 (3) of the Prisoner Repatriation Act 1984

– A person responsible for escorting a person wanted for extradition under a warrant issued under Part 3 of the Extradition Act of 2003 or wanted for extradition under any other extradition arrangement

– Defense personnel and subcontractors performing the work necessary for the execution of essential defense activities, including visiting forces and NATO

– An official obliged to work on essential border security tasks

– A person who resides in the United Kingdom and who is gainfully employed or self-employed in another country to which they usually go at least once a week

Whitehall sources said that Mr. Shapps fought to keep the idea of ​​airlift and travel lanes alive, which Ms. Patel initially resisted. Last night the advice was not to book a vacation now.

But Shapps has already set up a task force to examine how transportation corridors could be established in time for the summer vacation.

Ministers are also examining whether those who have had a coronavirus could be exempt from quarantine.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Thursday that Britain has purchased 10 million antibody tests that can determine if someone has had the virus.

1922 Committee Vice-Chairman Sir Charles Walker told The Times: “We have to get the country back on its feet, get it back on its feet, generate income and wealth that can support families, and ultimately , be taxed to finance our first world. public health services.

“A second world economy does not finance the expectations of the first world. We seem to be rushing headlong into a depression.

Former environment secretary Theresa Villiers added, “A general request is not warranted.”

A police source said enforcing the quarantine ban would not be a priority due to the expected increase in the crime rate.

A spokesperson for the Association of British Travel Agents said quarantine “would have an extremely detrimental impact on the UK inbound and outbound tourism industries”.

A spokesperson for Ryanair said the airline was “firmly opposed to ineffective unscientific measures.”

Quarantine could also have an impact on imports. As people are less willing to fly, the number of passenger planes could be reduced. As many passenger aircraft carry cargo, this would reduce air cargo capacity.

Make UK chief executive Stephen Phipson told The Guardian: “The industry will be disappointed with this isolationist move and will prevent many daily cross-border trips essential for providing service and maintenance. “

The program director of the London First business lobby group said quarantine is “a blind response to an increasingly nuanced situation.”

UK Hospitality Managing Director Kate Nicholls added: “Imposing a quarantine period will inevitably hinder international travel by visitors, and the longer it lasts, the more it will cause damage. “

Former Brexit secretary David Davis said it was “very, very difficult to see how effective it really is, profitable or balanced.”

Ministers fearful of a conservative rebellion on the issue have designed the new rules so that they do not need to vote in the House of Commons.

The announcement comes against the backdrop of a growing reaction from airlines and the wider business community, with the aviation industry warning that the move “makes no sense” and could damage the UK’s economic recovery.

Virgin Atlantic warned that quarantine would mean passenger services could not resume before August at the earliest, and urged the government to rely on controls instead.

Some more specific details of the new system should not be finalized until the House of Commons returns from its last suspension in early June.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps previously discussed the possibility of setting up “air bridges” at a later date to link the UK to low-infection countries and allow the British to go on vacation. foreign.

The plans were confirmed after Australia became the first country to request an exemption. Prime Minister Scott Morrison is reportedly seeking to ban his country from the sidewalks after nearly wiping out the virus.

Patel’s announcement came as Britain announced 351 additional coronavirus deaths, bringing the official death toll to 36,393.

Speaking at the Downing Street daily press conference, Ms. Patel said: “The answer to the question of why we are introducing these measures now is simple. It is to protect this hard-won progress and prevent a devastating resurgence of the second wave of the virus.

“We follow the science and introduce public health measures supported by SAGE.

“This will require international arrivals to self-isolate for 14 days, the incubation period of the virus, so if people are infected abroad, we can limit the spread of the virus. viruses at home.

“As we take this action, we take it at a time when it will be most effective.

“Passenger arrivals are down 99% from the previous year, now that we are past the peak of this virus, we must take steps to guard against imported cases, triggering a resurgence of this deadly disease. “

Patel said that, as the rate of domestic transmission continues to decline and the number of people coming to the UK is increasing, “imported cases may start to pose a greater and increased threat”.

“It is of course a different story from when domestic transmission was at its peak and foreign travel was at its lowest level,” she added.

Latest Downing Street Statistics Show Falling Number of Daily Coronavirus Deaths

Latest Downing Street Statistics Show Falling Number of Daily Coronavirus Deaths

The R number, showing the transmission rate, remains the same between 0.7 and 1.0 with around 61,000 new infections in England every week

The R number, showing the transmission rate, remains the same between 0.7 and 1.0 with around 61,000 new infections in England every week

Passengers wearing protective clothing are seen at Heathrow Airport, London, today

Passengers wearing protective clothing are seen at Heathrow Airport, London, today

The Home Secretary said the UK should protect the

Home Secretary said UK must protect “hard-won progress” in tackling deadly disease

French fury against the quarantine exemption

France reacted angrily last night to Britain’s decision to place all visitors in a mandatory 14-day quarantine – saying it would now do the same for anyone arriving from the United Kingdom.

In the midst of a major backlash from the actions taken by companies and airlines, a spokesman for the French Interior Ministry said: “We take note of the British government’s decision and we regret it.

“France is ready to put in place a reciprocity measure as soon as the system will actually come into force on the British side”. France initially thought it had an exemption from harsh measures from June 8, but Interior Minister Priti Patel confirmed that this was not the case.

She said the UK should protect its “hard-won progress” in the fight against Covid-19 and would not let a “reckless minority” undermine it.

Anyone coming to Britain will need to give an address and phone number to public health officials.

There will be spot checks and anyone who breaks the rules will face an initial fine of £ 1,000.

Patel said she believes the “vast majority” of people “will continue to act responsibly” and comply with the latest lockdown rules.

But she warned: “We will not let a small minority, a reckless minority put us all at risk, so there will be sanctions for those who violate these mandatory measures.”

Deconcentrated nations will be able to define their own application approaches. Patel said the government would not be afraid to increase the value of the initial fine if people broke the rules.

Critics responded to the announcement by asking why ministers did not impose such restrictions earlier during the epidemic.

SNP Shadow Secretary Joanna Cherry QC said that “as usual, the UK is behind” and that other countries have been implementing similar measures “for months”.

“The UK is catching up only to find out that other countries are making progress,” she said.

“The result is that hundreds of thousands of people have already arrived in the UK without any public health measures in place at ports of entry, much to the chagrin and puzzlement of the British public.

“Priti Patel must fully explain the scientific advice that underlies her inaction to date and the steps she now intends to take. “

The final details of the quarantine plans are expected to be finalized when the House of Commons returns after its last suspension in early June.

The final details of the quarantine plans are expected to be finalized when the House of Commons returns after its last suspension in early June.

Cyprus to ban UK tourists from reopening on June 9

Cyprus will reopen its airports on commercial flights, but British tourists will not be able to enter the country.

Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos said airports will reopen for commercial flights starting June 9 after nearly three months of closure.

The gradual reopening will initially allow passengers to travel to the small EU state from around 20 countries.

Britain and Russia are the two largest tourist markets on the island, but both are not on the original lists because the coronavirus is not sufficiently contained in these countries.

British tourists account for a third of all arrivals to Cyprus.

A second phase of easing restrictions will begin on June 20, the minister said after a cabinet meeting that approved the measures.

During the first phase, visitors must have tested negative for the coronavirus within 72 hours of their arrival in Cyprus with a certificate to prove it.

Cypriot residents can take the test upon arrival in Cyprus and will have to isolate themselves until the result is known.

According to the plans, travelers arriving at all ports and airports will be ordered to isolate themselves for two weeks and provide an address and contact details.

They will not be allowed to accept visitors unless they provide essential support, and should not go out to buy food or other essentials “where they can count on others,” the ministry said. the Interior.

There will likely be a small number of exemptions for truck drivers and some other critical roles while transit passengers who do not officially enter the UK will also be exempt.

Public health officials should perform about 100 spot checks each day to make sure people stick to self-isolation. These verifications will start from mid-June.

People arriving in the UK without organized accommodation will have to pay for government-organized accommodation themselves.

Although Ms. Patel insists the policy will be reviewed every three weeks, Whitehall sources downplayed the hope that the measures could be lifted before the summer vacation.

Virgin Atlantic warned that the plan would keep the planes on the ground.

“The safety and security of our employees and customers is always our top priority and public health must come first,” said a spokesperson.

“However, by introducing mandatory 14-day self-isolation for every traveler entering the UK, the government’s approach will prevent the resumption of flights.

British people can still spend their holidays in Ireland without having to quarantine

The British may still be able to spend their holidays in Ireland later this summer, although the United Kingdom has put in place a general quarantine on all arrivals.

Irish Health Minister Simon Harris said, “I look forward to moving forward and it is up to me to ensure that we align as closely as possible to the UK and Ireland with regard to common travel areas, work is underway in this area.

When asked if it meant that people in the UK could vacation in Ireland this summer and vice versa, he replied, “For now, yes.”

“We are continually reviewing our flight schedule and with these restrictions, there will simply not be enough demand to resume passenger services before August at the earliest. “

Instead, the airline called on the government to introduce a “tiered approach” with targeted public health and screening measures to allow safe resumption of international travel.

The Director General of The airport operators’ association, Karen Dee, previously told the Special Committee on Home Affairs that drastic reductions in the number of passengers “can simply lead to a prolonged shutdown of all aviation.”

Un porte-parole de l’Association des voyagistes indépendants a déclaré au Daily Telegraph: «  Comme pour tant d’initiatives gouvernementales  », la règle de quarantaine de 14 jours apparaît comme un coup de couteau dans le noir, susceptible d’être modifiée aussi rapidement que possible. il a été introduit, comme pour les ponts aériens évoqués.

The airlines have urged the government not to follow through on these plans. They believe that thermal imaging could be used instead to prevent the spread of the disease

The airlines have urged the government not to follow through on these plans. Ils croient que l’imagerie thermique pourrait être utilisée à la place pour empêcher la propagation de la maladie

«  Il est plus logique de mettre en quarantaine les arrivées du Yorkshire à Londres  »: Row comme Priti Patel dit que TOUT LE MONDE arrivant au Royaume-Uni devra s’auto-isoler pendant 14 jours à partir du 8 juin

La quarantaine obligatoire de la Grande-Bretagne sur toutes les arrivées a été critiquée, certains critiques affirmant qu’il serait plus logique de mettre en quarantaine ceux qui voyagent des régions les plus touchées du Royaume-Uni vers les régions à faible risque.

Le ministre de l’Intérieur, Priti Patel, a confirmé aujourd’hui que tous les voyageurs revenant au Royaume-Uni seront soumis à une période de quarantaine obligatoire de 8 jours à compter du 8 juin.

Elle a déclaré que cette décision aiderait le Royaume-Uni à protéger les « progrès durement gagnés » qu’il a réalisés dans la lutte contre les coronavirus et que des contrôles frontaliers rigoureux aideraient à prévenir une « résurgence dévastatrice ».

Mais le briefing a été critiqué au sein de son propre parti, le député de l’arrière-pays David Davis affirmant que la quarantaine ne devrait pas être utilisée pour «punir» les pays qui «ont mieux géré le coronavirus que nous».

Le député travailliste Ben Bradshaw a répondu au tweet de M. Davis en déclarant: Pas souvent, je suis d’accord avec David Davis, mais il a raison de dire qu’il y a de meilleures raisons de mettre en quarantaine les arrivées à Kings Cross du Yorkshire que les arrivées de pays à faible infection comme la Grèce, Malte et le Portugal . ‘

Le Yorkshire et le Humber ont signalé 13 685 cas de coronavirus. C’est nettement plus élevé que dans le sud-ouest du pays où 7 476 diagnostics ont été signalés.

Différentes régions du Royaume-Uni ont également un taux de R différent, qui est utilisé pour indiquer la vitesse de propagation du virus.

Les taux de R calculés par la London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine suggèrent que les East Midlands ont la propagation d’infection la plus rapide, avec un taux compris entre 0,8 et 1,2.

En revanche, Londres, qui a été la partie la plus durement touchée du Royaume-Uni, a un taux de R actuel de 0,5 à 0,8, le plus bas du pays.

Le gouvernement a confirmé cette semaine qu’il ne modifiera pas la levée du verrouillage par région.

« En réalité, la quarantaine aurait dû être mise en place dès le début de la pandémie, comme l’ont fait nos voisins européens – nous ne sommes plus en phase avec eux, car ils sortent de la quarantaine et nous y entrons. “

Plus tôt cette semaine, RyanAir Le PDG Michael O’Leary – qui avait auparavant critiqué ouvertement certaines mesures proposées pour limiter la propagation du coronavirus – a de nouveau appelé les gouvernements irlandais et britannique à abandonner les restrictions de quarantaine.

« Nous appelons à nouveau les gouvernements irlandais et britannique à abandonner leurs restrictions de quarantaine inexplicables, inefficaces et inapplicables », a-t-il déclaré.

Piers Morgan a lancé des appels à la transparence sur les raisons pour lesquelles les transporteurs de coronavirus ont pu voler au Royaume-Uni en premier lieu.

Il a écrit: ‘De toutes les décisions inexplicables que ce gouvernement a prises pendant la crise des coronavirus, mettre en quarantaine les personnes qui volent au Royaume-Uni après que 20 millions de personnes ont déjà pris l’avion et 62 000 personnes sont déjà mortes est la plus … inexplicable. “

Nigel Farage a tweeté: «  La mise en quarantaine du gouvernement aurait dû avoir lieu il y a trois mois, pas maintenant. Beaucoup trop tard.

Mme Patel a insisté sur le fait que le gouvernement «  reconnaît à quel point ces changements seront difficiles pour notre secteur du voyage  » et que les ministres travailleront avec l’industrie pour trouver de «  nouvelles façons de rouvrir les voyages et le tourisme internationaux de manière sûre et responsable  ».

Un ancien chef des Border Force a déclaré aujourd’hui qu’il était « surpris » que des mesures de quarantaine n’aient pas été introduites plus tôt aux frontières du Royaume-Uni.

Tony Smith, aujourd’hui président de l’International Border Management and Technologies Association, a déclaré aujourd’hui à la commission des affaires intérieures de la Chambre des communes: « Oui, j’ai été surpris que nous n’ayons pas vu de mesures antérieures introduites à la frontière britannique. “

M. Shapps a évoqué lundi l’idée de «ponts aériens» avec des destinations touristiques populaires telles que l’Espagne.

Madrid a annoncé hier qu’il pourrait être prêt à accueillir les touristes britanniques à partir de juillet sans leur demander de s’isoler pendant 14 jours.

Le chef de la direction de Heathrow, John Holland-Kaye, a déclaré: « Nous devons trouver un moyen pour que la vaste, vaste, très grande majorité des personnes qui ne souffrent pas d’une maladie puissent encore voler ».

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