The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has issued 630 fines since February 11 to airlines who have carried passengers with incorrect documentation, according to the Department for Transport.
As it stands, citizens are only allowed to leave the UK from England if they have a reasonable excuse. Those that fit within this category must complete a passenger locator form, provide proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken no more than three days before departure and self-isolate on arrival. Passengers arriving without a completed form and negative test result face a £500 fine.
Airlines also have the responsibility to ensure that passengers have such documents before they arrive in England, and can be fined £2,000 per passenger if they do not have valid proof of a recent negative coronavirus test or completed locator form.
Additionally, airlines face fines of £4,000 for failing to inform passengers of the requirements before departure and during the journey. There is also a £2,000 fine for carrying passengers who have been in a red list country in the previous ten days to a non-designated port.
The Department for Transport stated that the fines are “part of the UK’s tough border measures to protect the UK” and that the border force is “checking every individual coming into the country, no matter where they have come from, and will continue to carry out thorough checks at the border to keep the public safe”.
Earlier this month, Heathrow Airport warned that travellers returning to the UK may face six-hour queues when international travel restarts due to the thorough checks of paperwork at border control.
Meanwhile, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps confirmed today that the UK will use the existing NHS app as a vaccine passport to travel overseas. Speaking to Sky News, Shapps revealed that the app will be able to store negative test results and vaccine certification:
“It will be the NHS app that is used for people when they book appointments with the NHS and so on, to be able to show that you’ve had a vaccine or that you’ve had testing, and I’m working internationally with partners across the world to make sure that the system can be internationally recognised.”
Shapps also confirmed that the government will reveal the countries listed in the ‘green’ category as part of the ‘traffic light system’ for a return to international travel in the coming weeks.