Saturday, 19 Sep 2020

4,200 people referred to police for breaking holiday quarantine rules

More than 4,000 Brits have been referred to the police for breaking the mandatory 14-day quarantine on return from their holidays.

Three more countries were removed from the UK’s dwindling ‘safe list’ on Thursday, with the new rules coming into effect on Saturday. Passengers arriving in the UK from Switzerland, Jamaica and the Czech Republic will have to self-isolate for two weeks, or risk a £1,000 fine.

Figures yesterday showed police only issued three penalties for breaking travel quarantine rules last month.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps today reminded people they were at risk of getting a criminal record if they did not self-isolate, claiming 4,200 cases had been referred to authorities.

He told Times Radio: ‘Well I know that the police figures or the border force figures come out retrospectively so I don’t have those.

Travel experts today warned that Portugal, which was only recently put on the safe list, could be taken off due to a rise in infections. The country is now in the ‘amber zone’ with 16.4 cases per 100,000, according to travel expert Paul Charles from The PC Agency.

Mr Charles added that while Italy still remains in the ‘green zone’, cases have gone from 7 to 13 in a week, sparking fears it could also join Spain and France on the quarantine list.

Spain was the first country to get bumped off the ‘green’ list last month, with the last minute announcement causing travel chaos for thousands of Brits.

Ministers have repeatedly warned people to only travel if they are content with unexpectedly having to quarantine for two weeks, amid criticism of the last-minute decisions.

Travel industry leaders have called for a more ‘nuanced’ approach, accusing the government of hampering the industry’s rebound from lockdown with many holidaymakers reluctant to go abroad due to fear of having to self-isolate.

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