Ms Patel confirmed today that those arriving in the UK from abroad will be required to quarantine for 14 days from the day of their arrival. The new rules will come into effect on June 8, with anyone caught breaking the rules facing a fine of £1,000. Border Force Director General Paul Lincoln said people will be asked to provide details of where they will be staying when they arrive in the UK.
- UK arrivals to 14-day quarantine but Brits’ foreign holidays still off
The quarantine rules are being put in place in an attempt to halt a potential second wave of the deadly coronavirus.
With the rules coming into play just before the peak time of year for summer holidays, many British tourists have been left unsure of what the future holds for holidays abroad.
Here’s everything you need to know about the new quarantine rules and your future holidays.
Should you book a holiday right now?
Ms Patel said this evening that “this is absolutely not about booking holidays”.
The Home Secretary told journalists during the briefing that booking holidays at the moment is off the table and this is about avoiding “a second wave” of coronavirus.
She also said that current Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice is not to travel abroad unless it is “essential”.
However, with the rules being reviewed every three weeks, you could potentially book a holiday for the future.
But some industry experts are claiming that quarantine rules could remain in place until July.
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Who is exempt?
Anyone arriving from the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, otherwise known as the Common Travel Area.
A full exemption list will be available soon, according to Ms Patel.
But it is also believed that truck drivers, medical professionals and foreign officials will be exempt.
What about “air bridges”?
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps mentioned earlier this week that “air bridges” between the UK and countries with a low coronavirus case rate were being discussed.
Ms Patel said that the idea of “air bridges” is not for today but may well an idea for the future.
She again said that the UK Government is not advising anything but “essential travel”.
Can you skip quarantine?
Anyone who arrives in the UK has to quarantine for 14 days, unless they are on the exempt list.
The UK is also not allowing people to take a coronavirus test to skip the quarantine rules.
Even British nationals who have gone on holiday for a weekend will face two weeks in quarantine.
What does this mean for the travel industry?
Salman Haqqi, a personal finance expert at money.co.uk said that although airlines and holiday companies will struggle, the UK domestic tourism industry will thrive.
He said: “As more details emerge on government plans to quarantine people flying into the UK, it adds even more pressure to the already struggling airline and holiday industry.
“Preventative fines, aimed for travellers breaching two week quarantine rules, mean the UK is essentially closed this summer to inbound holidaymakers.
“But, for the UK domestic tourism industry it is a different story.
“A significant rise in staycations will mean seaside towns which rely on tourism, as well as hotels, Airbnb hosts and local attraction owners, will be hoping to welcome an influx of visitors as the restrictions ease further.
“This could be good news for the economy as it starts to recover from the impact of COVID-19.
“Our data revealed that a third of British holiday makers have existing trips booked abroad in 2020, so now is the time to look at their operators’ cancellation and date change policies.
“It’s also worth checking insurance policies and how you paid for your holiday.
“If you booked with a credit card you have additional protection under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act and with a debit card you may be able to make a claim using the Chargeback scheme.”
Money.co.uk surveyed 2,000 adults in the UK in April 2020 to find out that a third of Britons had existing trips booked.
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