The United Kingdom will be reopening to international tourists in June with new covid-19 prevention measures set by the UK government.
Starting on June 8th, all visitors arriving from other countries will be able to enter the UK but will face new strict quarantine measures before any vacation or traveling can begin.
The prevention measures are being introduced to “keep the transmission rate down and prevent a devastating second wave,” Home Secretary Priti Patel said on Friday.
International visitors will be permitted to enter the United Kingdom but they'll be required to self-isolate for at least 14 days.
The new measure also applies to citizens returning from overseas.
Passengers arriving in the UK by plane, ferry or train – including UK nationals – will have to provide an address where they will remain for 14 days. There is a £100 penalty for anyone found to have not filled in this ”contact locator” form.
Surprise visits will be used to check they are following the rules. Those in England could be fined up to £1,000 if they fail to self-isolate , while governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can also impose penalties.
Passengers will be asked to drive in their own car or rental vehicle to their destination, where possible. If they don't provide an address, the government will arrange accommodation.
Both Nationals and travelers must then not go to work, school, public areas, or use public transport or taxis. They should also not have any visitors unless they are providing essential support, and should not go out to buy food or other essentials where they can rely on others.
Why are the measures being introduced in June?
While there was still “significant” transmission of the virus within the UK, the impact of these border restrictions would have been negligible, the government says.
But now transmission has fallen, it hopes quarantine measures will lower the risk of infection being reintroduced from other countries.
The measures will be reviewed every three weeks to check they are in line with scientific guidance and remain ”effective and necessary”.
Do the quarantine rules apply to everybody?
There are a number of groups who are exempt, including:
- Road haulage and freight workers
- Medical officials who are travelling to help fight coronavirus
- Anyone arriving from the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man
- Seasonal agricultural workers if they self-isolate on the property where they are working
Initially, it was suggested the rules would also not apply to travellers from France. However, the government later insisted the quarantine measures will also apply to them.
What other measures have been put in place?
The government guidance says all flight passengers should remain at least 2m (6ft) apart from other people wherever possible and consider wearing a face covering.
People travelling through Manchester, Stansted and East Midlands airports have already been told to cover their faces and wear gloves.
Some temperature screening trials will also be conducted at Stansted. Heathrow, one of the world's busiest airports, is already trialling large-scale temperature checks .
Air France says passengers will be temperature-checked before flying. The carrier has also made face masks compulsory – similar to several US airlines.
See the complete guide of all countries reopening to international tourists in June