Don’t quarantine? The fine is £10,000

By | Category: Travel news

The government announcement today of fines and prison sentences for those evading UK entry government lockdown rules is designed to scare us witless from breaking the rules.

The penalties are designed to stop us finding new ways to evade our responsibilities in bringing new variants from South Africa and Brazil into the UK

To travel to the UK for those few people who can do so, you must – at your own expense – have and be able to show proof that you have taken a PCR test before travelling, stay in a government sponsored hotel and take a PCR test after two days and another after eight days.

This testing rule before travel and then on arrival at two and eight days applies to all travellers not just those travelling from “red” countries.

The accommodation and the two subsequent PCR tests are at your own expense. If a PCR test is shown to be positive, the quarantine period is extended to fourteen days.

Since no British resident is supposed to be travelling abroad unless there are very important reasons, the penalties announced today should only affect offenders who think they know better and can get away with it.

The penalties are as follows;

  • A fine of up to £10,000 if you don’t quarantine on entry into the UK at one of sixteen contracted hotels. This applies if you are coming from one of the 33 countries on the “red” list any others that might be added.
  • A prison sentence of up to ten years for anyone who conceals the fact that they have entered the UK after visiting one of the countries on the “red” list.
  •  A £1,000 fine for not taking a first test as required under the quarantine rules and a further fine of £2,000 if you miss the second PCR test as well.

 At present these rules apply to England but the devolved nations will surely follow or even toughen these regulations. The Scottish government has made quarantine in a hotel mandatory for every incoming international passenger, not just the ones coming from the 33 countries.

These measures which some have already called draconian seem to indicate that the Westminster government is worried about two things. The first is at the potential impact of the South African and Brazilian variants and are, thus, determined to make us sufficiently concerned about the impact if they did spread widely in the UK that none of us will disobey the regulations.

The second is to remind us that we cannot relax yet despite the fact that there are fewer people contracting the virus, fewer in hospital and fewer dying. Westminster certainly doesn’t want us to think that if we are vaccinated we can drop our guard.  

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