UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock has just told the house of commons that his priority is to “keep emerging and potentially deadly coronavirus strains out of Britain.” Therefore he announced, anyone who lies on their passenger locator form about having been in a country on the “red list”, will face a prison sentence of up to 10 years.
Hancock said that UK arrivals from countries on the list must pay £1,750 for their own hotel quarantine, transport and testing.
“Any returning residents from these countries have to quarantine in an assigned hotel room for 10 days. These will be booked online in advance at the cost of £1,750 per person. The government has secured 4,600 hotel rooms and are working on getting more. Sixteen hotels have been contracted for the enforced quarantine measures in England from 15 February.”
Hancock revealed the “tough fines” for people who do not comply:
- £1,000 fine for any international arrival who fails to take a mandatory coronavirus test
- £2,000 fine for failing to take a second test and quarantine is automatically extended to 14 days
- Fines of between £5,000 and £10,000 for failing to quarantine in a designated hotel
- Anyone who lies on their passenger locator form about having been in a country on the red list will face a prison sentence of up to 10 years
Shadow Health Secretary, Labour’s Jonathan Ashworth, didn’t bat an eyelid when Hancock announced the ten year jail sentence. When he took to his feet, he asked Hancock for an assurance that the government was doing all in its power to convince refuseniks to take the vaccine. Hancock assured him that while uptake is high, he and vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi were working on ways to persuade those who are reluctant to have the jab.
It remains to be seen if similar quarantine measures will be imposed on UK holidaymakers this Summer. Tourism bosses are terrified that the government will insist that families travelling anywhere outside the UK, will have to pay to quarantine themselves upon their return. It would be catastrophic for the industry.