British home secretary Priti Patel has revealed two-week quarantines will be imposed on people arriving in the United Kingdom from 8 June 2020.
The restrictions will apply to returning UK citizens, too. People arriving from Ireland and seasonal agricultural workers will be exempt, though.
“As the world begins to emerge from what we hope is the worst of the coronavirus pandemic, we must look to the future and protect the British public by reducing the risk of cases crossing our border,” said Patel.
“We are introducing these new measures now to keep the transmission rate down and prevent a devastating second wave. I fully expect the majority of people will do the right thing and abide by these measures. But we will take enforcement action against the minority of people who endanger the safety of others.”
Home Office advice
The British government’s guidance, meanwhile, remains that only essential travel abroad is advised.
Home Office chief scientific adviser Professor John Aston added: “The scientific advice so far has been clear: while there has been significant community transmission of the virus within the UK, the impact of putting in place additional border restrictions would have been negligible to the spread of the virus.
“However, the spread of the virus within the UK is now lessening. We have been successful in getting the reproduction number R – the average number of new people infected by one infected person – below one.
“As the number of infections within the UK drops, we must now manage the risk of transmissions being reintroduced from elsewhere.”
What of Cummings?
The Labour party, meanwhile, has insisted a “swift explanation” after prime minister Boris Johnson‘s senior adviser, Dominic Cummings reportedly breached lockdown restrictions.
Reports claim Cummings was approached by the Durham Constabulary on 31 March. He had travelled more than 200 miles from his home in London.
“If accurate, the prime minister’s chief adviser appears to have breached the lockdown rules. The government’s guidance was very clear: stay at home and no non-essential travel,” a Labour Party spokesperson was quoted as saying by Sky News.
“The British people do not expect there to be one rule for them and another rule for Dominic Cummings. Number 10 needs to provide a very swift explanation for his actions.”