The UK government is discussing proposals to require travellers arriving into the UK to self-quarantine for a period of two weeks, as part of a “second phase” of managing the coronavirus outbreak.
Unlike several other countries including Australia and Singapore, there are currently no such specific self-isolation requirements on those travelling on flights into the UK, although all residents are subject to the government’s general guidance to stay at home other than for essential reasons including work, exercise and purchasing food.
But as these restrictions are lifted in the coming weeks, and with airlines including Wizz Air already announcing the resumption of scheduled services to and from the UK, the government is reported to be looking at measures which would force arrivals to go into quarantine.
Speaking to Sky News, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab confirmed that the proposals are under consideration, stating that the UK would take “any new measures that are necessary”.
It’s understood these could include travellers having to fill in a landing card with details about their health, as well as the address where they would be self-isolating.
Business Traveller forum users have berated the current lack of screening of passengers arriving into UK airports – join in the discussion here.
The report added that “a communications campaign would also be rolled out across the world to warn passengers of what to expect when they arrive in the UK and to dissuade them from coming in the first place”.
Referring to the quarantine plans Raab told Sky News:
“That’s something that we will be looking at and it could include the testing for people coming in, it could include social distancing measures and we’ll make sure… that we are absolutely on top of the scientific evidence and are taking all the measures that are necessary to protect people’s health, to protect their lives but also to preserve our way of life as we go forward, economically and socially.”
Any move to impose restrictions on UK arrivals is likely to have an impact on traffic numbers as flights restart – last week The International Air Transport Association released new analysis forecasting that that passenger demand is projected to be 55 per cent down on 2019 levels, with the UK seeing 140 million fewer passengers in 2020.