The Government has announced the detail of its contested quarantine plans which could affect those who wish to travel, but cannot work from home on their return.
The Government has announced details of its quarantine plans for those who travel outside the UK, including fines of £1,000 for those living in England who break self-isolation rules.
On the day the Prime Minister warned of “many, many job losses” after the coronavirus crisis, the Government published details of its quarantine plans, which have been contested by those working in the travel industry.
The Government says all arrivals – bar a short list of exemptions, including diplomats, transport workers, seasonal agricultural workers, border security workers and those who live in the UK, but work abroad and travel regularly [and vice versa] – will be required to complete an online locator form to supply contact details, travel details and the address of where they will self-isolate for 14 days. Failure to complete the form is punishable by a £100 fixed penalty notice.
Where international travellers are unable to safely self-isolate in their own accommodation the Government says it will support them finding appropriate accommodation at their own expense.
Those self isolating could be contacted regularly and “at random” throughout this period to ensure compliance.
Anyone failing to comply with the mandatory conditions may face enforcement action. A breach of self-isolation would be punishable with a £1,000 fixed penalty notice in England or potential prosecution and unlimited fine. The level of fine could increase if the risk of infection from abroad increases. Other parts of the UK will set out their own enforcement approaches.
The rules do not apply to those travelling from Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands [Common Travel Area] – unless they have arrived in the CTA from overseas within the last 14 days, in which case they will have to provide locator details and self-isolate on arrival in the UK.
Meanwhile, Public Health England has published the ‘Disparities in the risk and outcomes of COVID-19’ report. It found that age is the biggest risk factor for coronavirus, followed by gender [men are more likely to get coronavirus and to die from it]. It also confirmed that those from black or a minority ethnic background also face a significant risk factor. However, it did not show why this was the case. The Government announced earlier this week that Kemi Badenoch, Minister for Equalities, will lead a further enquiry into why black and minority ethic (BME) people are more at risk of coronavirus and the Equality and Human Rights Commission has also announced it will conduct an inquiry into the impact of the coronavirus on ethnic minorities.
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “The government has known for months that the virus has hit black and ethnic minority people hardest – in their health, jobs and wallets.
“Rather than just warm words, the government must now show that Black Lives Matter with urgent action to protect BME people at work and to give all key workers the pay rise they have earned.
“BME communities must have confidence that their health is being taken seriously.
“The government needs to put in place a funded action plan to tackle the egregious inequality BME people still face, and must be fully transparent about how it is considering BME communities in its policy decisions.”