Passengers arriving in the U.K. will be forced into quarantine for two weeks and face fines of 1,000 pounds ($1,217) if they break the rules, under measures set to be announced on Friday.
The plan is designed to stop travelers re-introducing coronavirus to the country after becoming infected overseas and is likely to have a major impact on the aviation industry’s attempts to recover after the lockdown.
Home Secretary Priti Patel will set out the details of the new quarantine system at the daily government press conference at 5 p.m. on Friday. Her Cabinet colleague, Brandon Lewis, said the measures will be reviewed every three weeks, along with the rest of the government’s coronavirus response.
“We are going to introduce a quarantine system,” Lewis, the Northern Ireland secretary, told BBC Radio on Friday morning. “We will have 14-day quarantine for people coming into the U.K.”
He didn’t say if individual countries will be able to apply for exemptions. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said on Monday that ministers are considering “air bridges” to allow quarantine-free travel to and from countries where virus infection rates are low. Freight drivers are also likely to be exempt, the government has said.
Although the list of exceptions will be limited, it could include North Sea oil workers and health officials, an official said. Those who break the quarantine rules are likely to face fines of as much as 1,000 pounds.