An unwell passenger arriving at Heathrow Airport and needing to go to the hospital has admitted that he was unaware of the UK’s new 14-day quarantine regulations which came in force yesterday and was about to board the London Underground.
The oblivious traveller, who had arrived at the international airport from Switzerland on Monday, explained that he was about to board the ‘subway’ into central London despite displaying signs of an illness which he claimed were from an ear or tooth infection.
The concerning footage comes as the government yesterday announced all those arriving in Britain – including UK nationals – will be asked to provide an address where they will self-isolate for 14 days and could be fined £1,000 for failing to provide these details.
Despite the new measures now in place, the passenger, who was wearing a face mask, told ITV reporter Martin Stew that he was going ‘on the subway’ after being asked: ‘How were you going to get to where you were going?’
The unwell passenger arriving at Heathrow Airport from Switzerland admitted that he was unaware of the UK’s new 14-day quarantine regulations
ITV reporter Martin Stew took to Twitter to explain that the passenger claimed that he did not think he had Covid-19 as he had been hit with the virus before
When asked: ‘Nobody told you that you have to stay in one place for two weeks?’, the passenger simply replied: ‘No.’
During the clip the reporter went on to ask: ‘And you could have a fine of maybe £1,000 if you don’t stay in one place. It’s quite bad isn’t it? If nobody has told you it’s a problem.’
The passenger nervously laughed at the information before replying: ‘Yeah. I still have other issues right now so I wanted to go to the hospital.’
Following his conversation with the airline passenger Mr Stew took to Twitter to explain: ‘Passenger arriving at Heathrow from Switzerland just told me he had no idea he was supposed to be quarantining. To make matters worse he said he was feeling unwell and was going to take the tube. He didn’t think he had COVID-19 as believes he’s had it before.
He added: ‘He said symptoms appeared to be from an ear/tooth infection but wasn’t too sure (and there was a bit of a language barrier). ‘
The scene comes as passengers arriving at London Heathrow Airport yesterday criticised the UK’s new quarantine rules, claiming that they are unenforceable and will be difficult to police.
Under the new rules, which came into force yesterday all those arriving in Britain – including UK nationals – will be asked to provide an address where they will self-isolate for 14 days. Travellers can be fined £1,000 for failing to fill in a form with these details.
Passengers on three flights different flights arriving at Heathrow from the US told MailOnline that they were asked to fill in an online form ahead of their journey, detailing where they will be staying.
The traveller, who has just landed at the international airport, explains that he was about to board the ‘subway’ despite his symptoms
Stew went on to add that the passenger said his symptoms were from an ear or tooth infection but he was not too sure
Upon arrival, they were asked by immigration controllers the details they had provided on the form, but no specific checks were carried out to verify it.
There was also confusion over the use of electronic ‘e gates’.
At Heathrow, the gates – used to check passports electronically – were in operation in Terminal Five but not at the airport’s other terminals.
The Home Office told MailOnline it was up to individual airports whether they choose to use them.
Dennis White said: ‘Passengers arriving at Heathrow Airport are passing through border control manned by a single officer. E-machines are not in use.’
Meanwhile a spokesperson for Manchester Airport told MailOnline that its e-gates are operational today. As chaos builds following the launch of the plans:
- Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary today said air passengers arriving in Britain will simply ignore the new ‘rubbish’ quarantine rules;
- British Airways, easyJet and Ryanair told the Government the scheme is illegal because it is discriminatory, irrational and disproportionate;
- Channel Tunnel boss Jacques Gounon said it had been fraught with problems due to its late introduction last week and accused Ministers of ‘intransigence’;
- Heathrow Airport chief John Holland-Kaye warned the scheme will hasten the loss of up to 25,000 jobs and hinder Britain’s ability ‘to fight for our place in the world’;
- Unions also added to the criticism, branding the scheme a ‘populist move’ with no scientific basis, while Labour added that the measures appeared to show the Government ‘just hasn’t got a plan’.
Jane Mason, 49, who had arrived on a British Airways flight from Washington, said: ‘I could have been lying the whole time and to be honest, nobody is real.
Passengers Guy Potter and Sarah Hartstein arrive at Terminal 2 at Heathrow Airport today as the new quarantine measures come into force
Passengers begin to gather near passport control at Heathrow Airport after they are asked to fill in details about where they will be isolating on forms
Passengers arrive at Terminal 2 at Heathrow Airport in London yesterday, as new quarantine measures for international arrivals begin
Britney Medina (left) and Jane Mason (right) were both passengers arriving at Heathrow today. Ms Mason, 49, who had arrived on a British Airways flight from Washington, said: ‘I could have been lying the whole time and to be honest, nobody is really checking’
Another woman arriving at Heathrow today, who did not wish to be named, said: ‘I’m returning home so it’s not going to be a problem quarantining. I’ve given all my details but they didn’t seem to check them properly’
‘I completed the online form before I left and when I arrived at Heathrow the immigration official asked me to repeat the address where I said I would be quarantining. After that he just let me pass and didn’t check at all if what I had put down is true.’
Ms Mason, a writer, revealed that she would be staying in quarantine in a private residence in central London rented for her by her publisher.
She said that she was travelling to it via pubic transport, which the Government has strongly advised against ‘unless there is no other option.’
She said: ‘No other option is the ‘get out of jail card. Nobody has arranged to pick me up so I’m going to get on the Heathrow Express. I probably shouldn’t be doing that, but I have no other choice.
Dennis White, 62, landed at Heathrow Airport from Washington DC, after almost three months marooned in North Carolina with his wife Denise
Passengers arriving at Heathrow Airport today as new measures mandating 14-day quarantine is brought into action
A sign outlining ‘temperature check trial’ measures at Heathrow Airport today ‘to aid detection of elevated body temperatures in response to the Covid-19 pandemic’
The strict new quarantine rules people face when entering Britain from today
What happen when you arrive in the UK?
All passengers arriving in the UK will have to fill in a form before heading to Britain. This will include British nationals coming home, as well as foreign visitors. You must provide the address at which you will be staying in the UK – and self-isolate there. You will not be allowed to leave that address at all, or receive visitors, for 14 days.
How does it work?
Passengers will be able to complete ‘contact locator form’ on the Government’s website up to 48 hours before departure. There will be no paper versions of the form. Failing to complete the form before travelling is a crime, but there will be a short grace period and allow travellers to fill in the form electronically in the arrivals hall.
How will this be enforced?
There will be spot checks to ensure all passengers have completed a form. Border Force staff will interview people as they leave planes and at border checkpoints.
What happens if I refuse to fill in a contact locator form?
You will be given an on-the-spot £100 fine by Border Force officers.
What checks will take place during the 14-day period?
Public health officials will carry out random checks by telephone. If these raise doubts, police will visit the address, issuing a fine where necessary.
What happens if I leave the address I provide in the form?
In England, you will be issued with a £1,000 spot fine. You could even be prosecuted, and face an unlimited fine if convicted. The fine could increase beyond £1,000 if the ‘risk of infection from abroad increases’, the Home Office says. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will have their own enforcement systems.
Will foreign visitors be treated differently?
Yes. They could be removed from the UK ‘as a last resort’ if they fail to comply, the Home Office says. Officials could also refuse entry to non-UK nationals who are resident here. But they cannot refuse entry to British nationals.
Can I use public transport to travel from the airport to my isolation address?
Yes, but the Home Office says it would be preferable if you used your car.
What if I don’t have a suitable address to go to for 14 days?
The Government will provide isolation accommodation – possibly at similar venues to those used by travellers coming back from China earlier this year. The traveller will have to pay for this.
‘This quarantine system is going to be difficult to enforce. Are they really going to carry out spot checks to make sure people are in quarantine? Have they got the time and the personnel for that?’
Before boarding the train, Ms Mason revealed that she was only going to be in the UK for three weeks, two of which will be spent in quarantine.
One traveller who arrived from Washington, wearing a black baseball hat and mask, headed straight to Heathrow’s underground station insisting that he was going to work.
When informed that he is meant to quarantine, he fumed: ‘If Boris wants us to stay off public transport then he should arrange taxis for us all. I’ve got to get to work and don’t want to say anything else.’
Fiona Gathright, 59 who also arrived from Washington said: ‘It’s not going to be easy to enforce this quarantine system. It relies on people to be honest and it is easy to lie, both on the online form and when you arrive because there are no thorough checks being carried out if you’ve told the truth.’
Ms Gathright revealed that she will be quarantining in a flat in Bristol that she owns and will be staying in the UK for two months. She arranged to travel there in a taxi.
She added: ‘I’ll be in my flat and I promise you, I will quarantine. But I really don’t think anybody is going to turn up to check.’
Britney Medina, 27, a doctor, who arrived from Los Angeles for a six-week stay in Britain to visit friends and family said: ‘I think the quarantine system is not necessary and not enforceable.
‘The UK authorities are relying on people to be honest. It’s a moral question if you are going to tell the truth and stick to quarantining for two weeks. I’m not sure if most people will do it.’
Ms Medina, who is staying in rented accommodation in central London added: ‘The immigration officer just asked me to repeat the details that I had put down on my online form. They need to do more checks before letting people into the country.’
Michael Cohen, who had arrived from Germany, said: ‘There were quite long queues when we arrived because a lot of passengers like me didn’t know that the new rules started today.
‘Many of us had to complete the online form at the last minute. I’m lucky because I live in Britain, but if you were coming for a short visit, you’d be in trouble.’
Kulwinder Sahota, who had arrived from Toronto to visit family, added: ‘There was a lot of confusion and long queues. Immigration officials were asking a lot of questions about where people are planning to quarantine and many people had not filled in their online forms properly.
‘The whole thing is a bit of a mess to be honest. If I’d known it was going to be like this, I wouldn’t have travelled.’
One passenger arriving at Heathrow from Tel Aviv spoke of ‘chaos’ as his plane landed, telling the London Evening Standard: ‘I had no idea of the quarantine. When I arrived there were long queues.’
Sarah Hartstein and Guy Potter, who landed at Heathrow from Los Angeles this morning, said they were going straight into self-isolation in Croydon, South London.
Ms Hartstein said there had been some delays upon arriving, telling the Standard: ‘There was quite a lot of confusion and people were being held up.’
Dennis White, 62, landed at Heathrow Airport from Washington DC, after almost three months marooned in North Carolina with his wife Denise.
Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary (pictured yesterday) has claimed fliers will ignore quarantine rules being introduced
Polish couple Chris and Katie Chojnacki, both 40, were returning to the UK on the 2pm crossing to Dover after visiting family in their homeland last month.
They had tickets to return on Sunday before the quarantine was introduced but said the crossing at Calais was so busy that they couldn’t travel, instead forced to spend the night in a hotel with their two young children.
The family now face two weeks in quarantine at their Manchester home and had to give their address in a form at Dover so their quarantine can be checked during an unannounced visit.
Mrs Chojnacki said: ‘In Calais they were making sure they had all our details of where we were staying and who we were.Then we had to fill in another form when we got to Dover with our address and personal details so they can check we are actually quarantining.
‘Sunday was crazy cause we had our tickets but when we got there they said they are only allowing a certain amount of people on. Then we were left with no help to find a place to stay. We didn’t fancy a whole night in the car park so found a hotel.
‘It was very stressful with the two children but we are just glad to be back.’
Her husband added: ‘There must have been a sudden rush to get home before these quarantine rules came in and annoyingly we just missed it by a few hours.
‘The whole of Europe is now open so why has the UK suddenly decided to close? They should have done this three months ago. It’s too late now.
‘When we went to Poland in May, we had to go into isolation and go through all the checks but the UK had none of that.Now we are coming back they have finally decided to introduce it when the rest of Europe has stopped. It makes no sense.’
People arriving at Stansted Airport, on a flight from Eindhoven in the Netherlands, were among the first to land in the UK since the new rule came into force.
People arriving at Stansted Airport, on a flight from Eindhoven in the Netherlands, were among the first to land in the UK since the new rule came into force. Shopkeeper Netti Rexhmet, 32, who runs an off-licence in Chigwell, said: ‘We haven’t got any other options, it’s Government law so I shall do it. For me, I wouldn’t want to do it. I’d like to be open’
Ali Gurlek (pictured), 30, a software developer from London who spent the weekend visiting friends in the Netherlands, speaks to media at Stansted Airport in London. He criticised the new measures as lacking in ‘common sense’
Shopkeeper Netti Rexhmet, 32, who runs an off-licence in Chigwell in north-east London, said he feels the measure is ‘not right’ but that he will comply with it.
‘We haven’t got any other options, it’s Government law so I shall do it,’ he said. ‘For me, I wouldn’t want to do it. I’d like to be open.
‘I’ve got things to do, you have to live now, you have to pay.’
He said he will be unable to work while self-isolating, adding: ‘We will have to wait to see what other plans they’re going to do, the Government. Maybe they will change and take this one off. I think it’s too much.’
Ali Gurlek, 30, a software developer from London who spent the weekend visiting friends in the Netherlands, criticised the measures as lacking in ‘common sense’.
‘Now we’re going to use public transport,’ he said. ‘If we have it then it’s going to spread that. It doesn’t look very common sense.’
Kamil Farah, 24, from East Ham, London, said: ‘I don’t want to do it but I have to for the better good.
‘There’s a lot of people dying and a lot of things happened this year.’
The policy looks destined to fail after a leaked Home Office memo revealed that only those giving ‘manifestly’ false names such as ‘Mickey Mouse’ or addresses including ‘Buckingham Palace’ are likely to be followed up.
Mr O’Leary said today his airline will be flying a full schedule in July and August, claiming: ‘The flights are full outbound of the UK. British people are ignoring this quarantine, they know it’s rubbish’.
He added: ‘You could be in Sainsbury’s, you could be on the beach, you could be on the golf course in the unlikely event the Home Office calls you – all they will have is a mobile number.
‘Even the Home Office, Priti Patel’s own office, confirmed it’s unimplementable. It’s bonkers, there’s no scientific evidence for this quarantine, it’s completely ineffective – it’s useless’.
Passengers abide by the social distancing measures as they queue at the Eurostar terminal at London St Pancras yesterday
Passengers wearing personal protective equipment fill out forms at Eurostar’s departures area at London St Pancras
‘We were stuck there, worrying about not being able to fly home. You can’t get in contact with anybody in the British Government, and when you do they just palm you off to someone else. It was just a merry go round. Just ridiculous and frustrating. The Americans were much more than helpful.’
Mr White, of Portsmouth, was only due to spend a two week holiday in the States, but ended up relying on help from kind local residents after repeated flights were cancelled.
The couple flew out with Finnish airline Finnair, and were due to return on a rescheduled flight with American Airlines one week after their holiday ended, but that was cancelled too.
The pair ended up paying £1,800 for a one way flight with British Airways to return today. Mr White added: ‘Our ESTAs ran out today. We go to the US a lot so we wanted to come back before they expired.
‘We had a five hour drive to Washington DC because they are not operating international flights from North Carolina. As far as I know, there are only four airports doing international flights in the US.’
The builder and his wife, an NHS support worker, have vowed to stick to the new quarantine order in place from today.
He said: ‘We have to go back to our home to self isolate. It’s not something that I want to do, but if I have to do it I will.
‘I don’t know how I am going to keep myself occupied. I haven’t had to self quarantine in the States because we were in the countryside. Apart from animals, there were no humans around us.
‘It’s a bit different being back here surrounded by the general public.’
Mr White said he struggled to understand how the UK government will enforce the quarantine, and was ‘confused’ why they were allowed to travel on shuttle buses in close proximity to others.
The father-of-three added: ‘I don’t see how it is possible for the government to keep track of all the arrivals. I’m confused.
‘When we landed we had to get on a shuttle to go to the terminal. At least 20 people on the bus in a confined space. So I don’t see how they can control it.
Passengers queue to check in at Manchester Airport yesterday as new quarantine rules come into force
A passenger waits at a temperature check area at Manchester Airport after the UK introduces its new quarantine measures
‘The quarantine doesn’t make sense if you are allowed to get on a bus full of people. But we will abide by the rules. If it’s what we have to do, that’s what we have to do.’
His wife works at the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth, where human resources staff are said to have told her to go back in.
Mr White said: ‘They have told her it is OK to return to work. This was last Friday.
‘She is going to phone the HR worker at the hospital when she gets back. I don’t see how she can go to work.’
Passengers arriving at Stansted today also discussed the absurdity of using public transport despite the quarantine, with one saying: ‘It doesn’t look very common sense.’
Heather Edwards arrived at Heathrow from Switzerland this morning, before heading to Wales to celebrate her son’s 19th birthday.
The 56-year-old flew from Geneva Airport where she said restrictions were ‘extremely tight’ before taking her seat directly alongside other passengers boarding the Swissair flight
Upon landing, the mum-of-two passed ‘Temperature Check’ signs, but was not made to take one herself and nor did she see other passengers taking them.
She said: ‘I think the temperature checks were meant to be in operation, but I wasn’t asked to take one. I didn’t see anyone else take one either. I walked past signs for them.’
Heather then filtered through border control, where two officers manned the booths, handing them the immigration forms which asked nothing of passengers’ health.
She said: ‘We filled in UK Visa and Immigration forms. We filled in where we were coming from and going to, flight numbers, airlines, telephone number and personal information. There were no questions about our health.’
Upon arriving at Heathrow, Heather described what is usually one of the world’s busiest airports as ‘deserted’.
She added: ‘It’s very weird being at Heathrow. It was deserted. To me everybody, the staff and the passengers, are doing the best they can do under the circumstances. It’s not just the government’s responsibility, it’s the general public too. When I see people out and about on the beaches it’s ridiculous.’
Welsh-born Heather lives on the banks of Lac Leman, near Geneva in Switzerland, where there have been around 1,600 COVID-19 related deaths, far fewer than in neighbouring France, where almost 30,000 have perished from the virus.
She said: ‘I’m coming from Switzerland where there were very few deaths. Everybody was on lockdown, nobody left their homes.’
Heather was heading to Welshpool, Powys, where there had been 85 COVID-19 deaths recorded by the Office of National Statistics as of June 2.
She vowed to stick to the 14-day enforced lockdown period, but was unsure how authorities planned to enforce the quarantine.
The Dover ferry terminal in Kent is pictured yesterday as the 14-day quarantine rules asking passengers to self-isolate begin
A police van at the Dover passenger terminal in Kent yesterday morning as the government introduces the new quarantine measures
The Home Office documents said the pledge to fine almost all travellers arriving in the UK £100 if they fail to fill in an online form or £1,000 if they refuse to self-isolate for two weeks will be difficult because there is no method for officials to ensure details are ‘genuine’.
Even a spokesman for the Home Office, whose boss Priti Patel has brought in the scheme, admitted to the Daily Telegraph last night that it was ‘very hard to imagine’ how some of the measures would work ‘in practice’.
Home Secretary Priti Patel insisted the Government’s proposal to quarantine overseas visitors is ‘not my plan’.
Labour’s shadow Home Office minister Conor McGinn asked: ‘The scientists say the quarantine introduced yesterday had come too late. The police says it’s unenforceable. The tourism and aviation industry say it will ruin them and the Home Secretary’s own department has said it is very hard to imagine how it will practically work.
‘In contrast, our proposal for a 48-hour testing-led model would be targeted, efficient and keep the country open for business.
‘Can the Home Secretary explain to the House how her plan is better and why the Government think it’s right and everybody else is wrong?’
Ms Patel responded: ‘First of all, this is not my plan. This is a Government plan and Government policy, and I think in terms of the approach that has been taken, the Government has maintained throughout this pandemic that medical and scientific advice in terms of border measures are consistent and are now being applied.’
Lucy Moreton, professional officer at the Immigration Services Union, said Border Force staff checking quarantine papers were ‘angry’ at the way they were being treated.
She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that technical papers explaining to staff what to check for only arrived on Friday, and were still not available to those operating on the front line of the devolved administrations.
Ms Moreton added: ‘This does appear to be very shambolic and they don’t want to be blamed for that.’
The new quarantine rules enforcing UK arrivals to stay home for 14 days were already in chaos today as Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary said fliers will simply ignore them.
He also pointed out that arriving passengers would be getting straight onto public transport to reach their destination even if they did go into quarantine, and therefore defeating the point because they would come into contact with many other people.
Mr O’Leary told BBC Radio’s 4 Today programme: ‘What it is going to do is untold devastation, not just to the airlines but to British tourism.
‘The thousands of hotels, the thousands of visitor attractions, restaurants in the next couple of months – July and August are the two key months for British tourism in the tourism industry.
‘We’re facing thousands of jobs losses because of a stupid, ineffective quarantine.’
He said Ryanair bookings were down about 50 per cent on the same time last year but that outbound flights remained popular compared with inbound journeys, with European travellers being put off coming to the UK due to the restrictions to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival.
Commuters wear face masks as they use the London Underground amid the coronavirus pandemic in the UK
Commuters collect free face masks as they use the London Underground amid the Covid-19 crisis
Passengers arriving at Stansted Airport on a flight from Eindhoven in the Netherlands shared their views on new quarantine measures this morning.
Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary says Britons won’t follow ‘rubbish’ quarantine regime as businesses join airlines in legal fight against new laws that have ‘more holes than a sieve’
Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary today said air passengers arriving in Britain will simply ignore the new ‘rubbish’ quarantine rules as airlines launched a joint legal action.
British Airways, easyJet and Ryanair have told the Government the scheme launched this morning is illegal because it is discriminatory, irrational and disproportionate.
Businesses have raised fresh concerns over how the plans will be enforced, with one group of 500 campaigning travel firms claiming it has ‘more holes than a sieve’.
Heathrow Airport chief John Holland-Kaye warned the scheme will hasten the loss of up to 25,000 jobs and hinder Britain’s ability ‘to fight for our place in the world’.
And Channel Tunnel boss Jacques Gounon said it had been fraught with problems due to its late introduction last week and accused Ministers of ‘intransigence’.
Mr O’Leary said today his airline will be flying a full schedule in July and August, claiming: ‘The flights are full outbound of the UK. British people are ignoring this quarantine, they know it’s rubbish.’
He added: ‘You could be in Sainsbury’s, you could be on the beach, you could be on the golf course in the unlikely event the Home Office calls you – all they will have is a mobile number.
Ali Gurlek, 30, a software developer from London who spent the weekend visiting friends in the Netherlands, criticised the measures as lacking in ‘common sense’.
‘Now we’re going to use public transport,’ he said. ‘If we have it then it’s going to spread that. It doesn’t look very common sense.’
Shopkeeper Netti Rexhmet, 32, who runs an off-licence in Chigwell in London, said the rule will prevent him from working for a fortnight.
Speaking as he walked through arrivals today, he said: ‘We haven’t got any other options, it’s Government law so I shall do it.
‘For me, I wouldn’t want to do it. I’d like to be open. I’ve got things to do, you have to live now, you have to pay.’
Kamil Farah, 24, from East Ham, London, said: ‘I don’t want to do it but I have to for the better good. There’s a lot of people dying and a lot of things happened this year.’
Thousands of Britons were queuing for hours at the Port of Calais last night in a mad rush to arrive in the UK before the measures began. This morning ferry companies warned that it was ‘very busy’ in both Calais and Dunkirk.
But at Dover this morning, the Port saw small numbers of passengers arrive in the UK as the new quarantine rules were introduced.
The passenger terminal was eerily empty apart from two receptionists while the road leading drivers through the Kent town was also very quiet.
Two men wearing surgical face masks came through in a Romanian car while another man entered the country in a Bulgarian Peugeot at around 10am.
A blue Volkswagen Polo with a UK number plate was one of just three passenger vehicles to depart from a ferry which boarded shortly before 11am.
One passenger in a black Audi A4 described the new quarantine system as a ‘joke’ as he was unable to return home to Doncaster before they were introduced.
The man who had crossed the Channel to see his family and did not want to be identified said: ‘I tried to buy my ticket back to the UK online but I couldn’t get it in time.
People come into the arrivals lounge in Terminal 2 at Heathrow Airport in London, as new quarantine measures for international arrivals come into force
‘I think everyone must have been rushing back to get home before the quarantine. I had to stay in a Belgian hotel until the first ticket I could find which was today.
‘Then they told me over the phone that I will need to go into quarantine and I can’t do anything for two weeks. I can’t even go to the shop.
‘They’ve just checked a few details of where I’m going to be staying before getting on the ferry and that was it. It’s a complete joke really. They clearly have not thought this through.’
The quarantine regulations must be reviewed every three weeks, with the first taking place by June 29.
Even a spokesman for the Home Office, whose boss Priti Patel has brought in the scheme, admitted to the Daily Telegraph last night that it was ‘very hard to imagine’ how some of the measures would work ‘in practice’ (pictured: Heathrow Airport yesterday)
Brits rushing to get home before quarantine measures come into effect are facing long queues at Calais last night
P&O tweeted earlier on Sunday to say it had ‘could not predict the demand’ at the French port
They could be in place for a year, when the legislation expires, but the Government is expected to scrap it sooner with 500 travel and hospitality businesses set to apply for a judicial review or injunction at the High Court to suspend the policy.
The 47 groups who are EXEMPT from the government’s ‘mandatory’ quarantine scheme
Here is the list of people exempt from the 14-day self-isolation requirement.
– A road haulage worker and road passenger transport worker
– A transit passenger, an individual transiting to a country outside of the Common Travel Area, who remains airside and does not pass border control
– An individual arriving to attend pre-arranged treatment, when receiving that treatment in the UK
– A registered health or care professional travelling to the UK to provide essential healthcare, including where this is not related to coronavirus
– A person who has travelled to the UK for the purpose of transporting, to a healthcare provider in the UK, material which consists of, or includes, human cells or blood which are to be used for the purpose of providing healthcare
– Quality assurance inspectors for human medicines
– Sponsors and essential persons needed for clinical trials or studies
– Civil aviation inspectors engaged on inspection duties
– Eurotunnel train drivers and crew, Eurotunnel Shuttle drivers, freight train drivers, crew and essential cross-border rail freight workers operating through the Channel Tunnel
– A Euratom inspector
– Workers engaged in essential or emergency works, related to water supplies and sewerage services
– Workers engaged in essential or emergency works related to a generating system, an electricity interconnector, a district heat network, communal heating, automated ballast cleaning and track re-laying systems or network
– A worker undertaking activities in offshore installations, upstream petroleum infrastructure, critical safety work on offshore installations and wells
– Workers engaged in essential or emergency works
– Drivers and crew of trains operated by Eurostar International Limited, essential cross-border workers working for Eurostar International Limited
– Operational, rail maintenance, security and safety workers working on the Channel Tunnel system
– A worker with specialist technical skills, where those specialist technical skills are required for essential or emergency works or services
– Seamen and masters
– A pilot, as defined in paragraph 22(1) of Schedule 3A to the Merchant Shipping Act
– An inspector, and surveyor of ships
– Crew, as defined in paragraph 1 of Schedule 1 to the Air Navigation Order 2016(h), where such crew have travelled to the UK in the course of their work
– Nuclear personnel who are essential to the safe and secure operations of a licensed nuclear site
– Nuclear emergency responder
– Agency inspector
– An inspector from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, a specialist aerospace engineer, or a specialist aerospace worker
– A person engaged in operational, maintenance or safety activities of a downstream oil facility that has a capacity in excess of 20,000 tonnes
– A postal worker involved in the transport of mail into and out of the UK
– A person involved in essential maintenance and repair of data infrastructure
– An information technology or telecommunications professional whose expertise is required to provide an essential or emergency response to threats and incidents relating to security
– A person who is engaged in urgent or essential work on electronic communications networks
– A person who is engaged in urgent or essential work for the BBC’s broadcasting transmission network and services
– A seasonal agricultural worker
– Members of diplomatic missions and consular posts in the United Kingdom
– Crown servants or government contractors returning to the United Kingdom who are either: required to undertake policing or essential government work in the United Kingdom within 14 days of their arrival, have been undertaking policing or essential government work outside of the United Kingdom but are required to return temporarily, after which they will depart to conduct policing or essential government work outside the United Kingdom
– International prison escorts – a person designated by the relevant Minister under section 5(3) of the Repatriation of Prisoners Act 1984(a)
– A person responsible for escorting a person sought for extradition pursuant to a warrant issued under Part 3 of the Extradition Act 2003 or sought for extradition pursuant to any other extradition arrangements
– Defence personnel and contractors doing work necessary for the delivery of essential Defence activities, including Visiting Forces and NATO
– An official required to work on essential border security duties
– A person who resides in the UK and who pursues an activity as an employed or self-employed person in another country to which they usually go at least once a week
There are also 47 exemptions so far and ‘air bridges’ with other countries are planned to help more people avoid the measures.
Tens of thousands of people currently arrive in the UK each day from abroad but there are reportedly only 230 tablet computers across all ports and airports for people to fill in their arrival form if they haven’t in advance. The document leaked to the Telegraph warned of huge queues if even one tablet computer is taken out of operation for cleaning for just a few minutes.
And it appears that Border Force checks will be light at Dover but Heathrow passengers face long delays because managers plan to check all arriving passengers.
Transport chiefs lined up last night to attack the Government’s ‘poorly thought-out’ and economically ‘devastating’ travel quarantine which comes into force today.
Heathrow boss John Holland-Kaye warned the scheme would hasten the loss of up to 25,000 jobs and hinder Britain’s ability ‘to fight for our place in the world’.
Channel Tunnel boss Jacques Gounon said the policy had been fraught with problems due to its late introduction last week and accused Ministers of ‘intransigence’.
Meanwhile, furious airline chiefs wrote to Home Secretary Priti Patel demanding that plans for ‘air bridges’ with other countries be drawn up within days.
Quarantine measures are now in place meaning anyone arriving in Britain will need to self-isolate for 14 days.
One Brit, who was returning from Spain on business said: ‘P&O have oversold their tickets and are only taking 200 people on at a time. There are thousands of people sitting in their cars.
‘We got here for 4.30pm, in time for our ferry at 7.30pm, we’ve barely moved since and haven’t even got past border control.
‘I don’t think we’ll be sailing tonight. If we don’t get back by 12am then we will have to go into quarantine, that’s why we tried getting back before then, but we’re one of thousands of Brits sitting in this queue.’
One traveller described the service as a ‘joke’ after being told he would have to travel on a 10pm crossing, after booking his ferry for 2.45pm.
Daniel Bevan gave up on queuing earlier today and is staying in a nearby hotel for the night.
He said: ‘We booked a return with P&O four days ago having made a trip to see my partner’s elderly parents.
‘We arrived for our Sunday night crossing to discover queue stretching back from the ferry to the other side of passport control. Most in the queue were booked on the previous ferry.’
Yesterday P&O ferries apologised to a customer who waited five hours to board his ferry home from Calais.
Nick Phillips wrote on Sunday: ‘Absolutely appalling customer service at Calais today. People who have pre-booked ferries being bumped so that cash bookings on the day can be made. No apology at check in desk, despite 1 hour wait to check in and further 4 hours for ferry.’
The ferry service replied: ‘We are very sorry for the extremely long waiting time in Calais today. ships are operating with reduced capacity to ensure all social distancing measures are adhered to. We have seen large, unpredicted numbers in Calais following government announcements.’
The operator later commented: ‘We sincerely regret that we could not predict the demand from Calais today and that you have had to wait so long for the next available sailing.’
Travellers arriving in the UK will now be required to self-isolate for 14 days under Government measures to guard against a second wave of coronavirus.
All passengers – bar a handful of exemptions – will have to fill out an online locator form giving their contact and travel details, as well as the address of where they will isolate.
People who fail to comply could be fined £1,000 in England, and police will be allowed to use ‘reasonable force’ to make sure they follow the rules.
Border Force officers will carry out checks on arrivals and may refuse entry to a non-resident foreign national who refuses to comply with the regulations.
Failure to complete the locator form will be punishable by a £100 fixed penalty notice.
The plans have been met with strong criticism from opposition parties and some Conservative MPs – as well as the travel industry.
British Airways has begun legal proceedings over what it calls the Government’s ‘unlawful’ quarantine measures.
The Telegraph said a Home Office spokesman admitted it was ‘very hard to imagine’ how some of the planned measures would work in practice.
A leaked Home Office document seen by the paper reportedly said there was no method for officials to ensure a person’s details are ‘genuine’.
Travellers arriving from within the Common Travel Area – which includes Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands – will not need to self-isolate unless they have arrived in the CTA in the last 14 days.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said: ‘We all want to return to normal as quickly as possible. But this cannot be at the expense of lives.
‘The science is clear that if we limit the risk of new cases being brought in from abroad, we can help stop a devastating second wave.
‘That is why the measures coming into force today are necessary. They will help control the virus, protect the NHS and save lives.’
A P&O Ferries spokesman said: ‘We would like to apologise sincerely to any customers who were inconvenienced by the delays at Calais over the weekend.
‘The situation was caused by high levels of demand coinciding with the introduction of Government’s quarantine policy and reduced capacity, with only three ships in operation compared with five prior to the crisis and volumes significantly restricted due to coronavirus safety measures including social distancing.
‘We stopped selling tickets as soon as it became clear that there were more people attempting to travel than we had room for. We eased the backlog by running an additional sailing and the situation at the port is now back to normal.’
The scenes come as Britain today announced 55 more Covid-19 deaths in the lowest daily toll since before lockdown was imposed, as London recorded no new hospital fatalities for the first time since March and both Scotland and Northern Ireland posted no victims for the second day in a row.
Department of Health statistics show the official number of laboratory-confirmed coronavirus victims now stands at 40,597 across all settings — but separate grim reports show the true count is actually thousands higher.
The daily Covid-19 death toll — the lowest since March 22 (35) — is half the 111 fatalities registered last Monday and is below 100 for the second day running. Figures released on Sundays and Mondays are always lower because of a delay in recording deaths at the weekend.
Department of Health figures show no deaths were recorded in Scotland or Northern Ireland. But health officials in both of the nations have not registered a fatality in the last 48 hours.
In other coronavirus developments in Britain today:
- Boris Johnson has earmarked June 22 as the date when pubs and restaurants across the nation could be allowed to reopen, it was claimed;
- Tourists will be allowed to travel freely across the EU by mid-July, as the government plans to water-down its travel quarantine policy as quickly as possible;
- Passengers arriving at London Heathrow Airport criticised the UK’s new quarantine rules, claiming that they are unenforceable and will be difficult to police;
- Travellers ignored police advice and arrived at the site of Appleby horse fair even though Europe’s biggest gathering of gipsies has been cancelled this year;
- More than seven million people have now been infected with coronavirus across the world – and two in every three cases are in Europe and the US.
Mobility data shows Brits made less direction requests for journeys by car, foot or on public transport in the first week of June than they did at the end of May
Police are told not to punish tourists for flouting quarantine as cracks in the new measures appear on their first day of operation
By David Barrett and Tom Payne for the Daily Mail
Serious cracks appeared in the quarantine measures on their first day of operation yesterday.
All arrivals to the UK – including Britons – must now fill in an online ‘contact locator’ form setting out where they will live for a fortnight. Refusal to do so risks a £1,000 fine.
But last night it emerged police will take ‘no immediate action’ even if a passenger has been found to have given a false address.
One border source said: ‘It’s been a complete farce. The vast majority of passengers have not filled in forms in advance.
Those who have filled it in are given an online reference number, but immigration officers can’t log in to check whether that form has been filled in properly.’
The source added: ‘It’s been impossible to socially distance in the Heathrow arrivals halls because so many people have been milling around.
‘There’s been trouble at Heathrow and at Calais and Coquelles, where the UK border checks take place for the Channel Tunnel. It’s a mess.’
Passengers arrive at Heathrow Airport, London Britain, on Monday as the UK government implements its new quarantine rules
The scheme was further undermined last night as the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) issued guidance which revealed the light touch forces will adopt when checking up on travellers during quarantine.
Even if a false address appears to have been given, police should take ‘no immediate further action’, the guidelines say, and the case simply referred to the UK Border Force.
If police visit an address where someone is supposed to be self-isolating and there is no answer, the NPCC says further visits are ‘suggested’ but there should again be ‘no immediate further action by police’.
That case should be referred to Public Health England.
And if police discover someone at a different address to the one they gave on their form, they should only remove the person to their given address ‘as a last resort’.
An NPCC spokesman said most of the responsibility fell to Public Health England, adding: ‘Police have a limited role in quarantine regulations.’
In the event of a case being referred by PHE to the police for action, he added: ‘We will seek to establish the circumstances and we will continue our approach of engaging, explaining, encouraging and, only as a last resort, enforcing.’
A crew member is pictured at Heathrow Airport as the new quarantine measures are kicked into action on Monday
Passengers arriving at Stansted on a flight from Eindhoven in the Netherlands criticised the measures yesterday.
Ali Gurlek, 30, a software developer from London, said the measures ‘lacked common sense’ because he was about to travel home on public transport – as allowed under the rules.
At the Eurostar terminal at St Pancras, Sylvain Preumont, 50, a business manager who makes a weekly round-trip from Paris, said as a frequent traveller he was exempt but that he was no fan of the policy.
‘It makes no sense,’ he said. ‘This was invented to reassure people… to please them, and then we realise that it is not feasible.’
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said measures were needed at the border but quarantine was a ‘blunt instrument’.
‘We have got the situation where – weeks ago – other countries put quarantine in and we didn’t,’ he told LBC Radio.
‘Now as everybody’s lifting it we’re putting it in. I would much prefer to see some sort of testing regime at the airport.’
British Airways, easyJet and Ryanair have sent a pre-action letter, the first step in an application for judicial review, which argues the restrictions are disproportionate.
Coronavirus deaths fall to just 55 across the United Kingdom
By Eleanor Hayward for the Daily Mail
The country recorded its lowest coronavirus daily death toll since before lockdown yesterday with just 55 fatalities.
The number was down from a peak of 1,172 on April 21 – seven weeks ago – and took the overall total to 40,597. The last time it was so low was on March 21, two days before Boris Johnson’s historic announcement.
It came as London recorded no new deaths for the first time since March 13. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that ‘coronavirus is in retreat across the land’ and hailed the capital’s zero figure as a milestone.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that ‘coronavirus is in retreat across the land’ and hailed the capital’s zero figure as a milestone
Confirmed new cases in London have remained below the 50 figure every day for almost three weeks, compared with 1,000 a day at the outbreak’s height.
The figures, recorded in all settings, are the clearest sign yet that Britain has overcome the first wave of Covid-19.
Mr Hancock said the country was ‘winning the battle against coronavirus’, allowing ministers to press ahead with plans to ease lockdown by reopening shops next week and encouraging more parents to send children back to school.
He told Parliament: ‘Today’s figures record 55 fatalities, the lowest number since March 21 – before lockdown began.
‘They also show there were no new deaths recorded in London’s hospitals, which is a real milestone for the capital which faced the biggest peak in the early stages of the pandemic.
Mr Hancock (pictured with the Chair of the National COVID-19 Social Care Support Taskforce David Pearson) said the country was ‘winning the battle against coronavirus’
‘Yesterday we saw no recorded deaths in Scotland, which is very positive news for us all.
‘Sadly we do expect more fatalities in the future… 55 deaths is still 55 too many, and hundreds of people are still fighting for their lives.’
He added that the crucial ‘R’ rate – showing the rate the infection is spreading – was below one in every region, meaning the number of new infections is expected to continue to fall. Mr Hancock said: ‘Our plan is working and these downward trends mean we can proceed with our plans, but we do so putting caution and safety first.’
Both Scotland and Northern Ireland have now gone for two days in a row without any new victims. More than 200 people a day were dying in London’s hospitals in early April, with 6,026 deaths in total.
A weekend lag in reporting deaths means figures released on Sundays and Mondays are typically lower than those recorded throughout the rest of the week. But the daily death toll is still less than half the 111 and 121 reported over the last two Mondays.
NHS England said: ‘No deaths in London hospitals are being reported today. However, a small number of deaths occurred, which will be announced in coming days.’
New cases of infection are plummeting across the UK as a whole, with yesterday’s Department of Health figures showing 1,205 positive tests among the 138,183 carried out on June 7.
Hospital admissions are also falling. There are 6,403 patients in hospital with coronavirus, down from 7,543 a week ago and 20,000 at the height of the outbreak. The figures will add to the clamour from business leaders to get the economy moving again, particularly in London.
The Prime Minister is believed to be keen to speed up the easing of lockdown after he was warned prolonging the shutdown of the hospitality sector could cost more than three million jobs.
But Labour health spokesman Jonathan Ashworth urged ministers to ‘proceed with caution’. He said: ‘Infections are still running at over 5,000 a day… many now fear the Prime Minister is starting to throw caution to the wind.’
The Office for National Statistics say the number of people infected with coronavirus in homes in England has fallen to 5,600 a day, down from 8,000 at the end of May.
However, experts have raised fears of a second wave of coronavirus after thousands of Black Lives Matters protesters defied pleas from the Government and took to the streets across Britain.
Professor Keith Neal, an infectious diseases expert at Nottingham University, said: ‘We will have to wait to see if one of the marches turns into a super-spreading event.’
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