Ministers ‘consider relaxing UK travel quarantine’

London: The UK government is looking at ways to relax the 14-day COVID-19 quarantine rule for people entering the country over the coming months, a media report said on Tuesday.

The quarantine measures which will come into force on June 8 were exempt for as lorry drivers, police officers, seasonal farm workers, and healthcare professionals, the BBC reported.

Also exempt will be people coming from the Irish Republic, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man..

But some MPs and businesses have expressed concern at the plan, warning it will damage the travel industry.

A government source told the BBC that ministers were looking at ways around the coronavirus quarantine.

This could include expanding the list of workers who are exempt from the 14-day rule, or travel corridors to countries with low infection rates, which the government has previously said it was considering.

Any changes would be guided by the science but one possible date for a relaxation to the rule could be July 20, coinciding with school holidays, the source told the BBC.

According to the quarantine rule, travellers will also have to tell the UK government where they will be staying and if they do not provide an address, officials will arrange accommodation.

In England, there will be random spot checks and 1,000 pounds fines, while governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can impose their own penalties.

Housing Minister Simon Clarke told the BBC that the quarantine policy was “a proportionate step” which would minimise the risk of new cases coming into the UK “just at the time that we are getting a grip on it”.

He said it was a “temporary, time-limited measure”, but added that it was “vital”.

The plan is expected to be set out in more detail when it is laid before Parliament this week.

MPs are returning to Westminster on Tuesday after weeks of proceedings taking place virtually.