Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has confirmed Boris Johnson is considering relaxing the mandatory 14-day quarantine restrictions for all arrivals into the UK, in favour of a more targeted approach. In the House of Commons on Monday, Mr Shapps confirmed a two-week self-isolation restriction will be put in place for international travellers entering the UK from early June.
Under the plans, arrivals must provide details of their accommodation and random spot-checks will be carried out – those who flout the rules risk a fine of up to £1,000.
The Prime Ministers spokesman confirmed the blanket measures will be reviewed every three weeks and Mr Shapps opened the door for an easing of the restrictions for destinations with low rates of coronavirus.
He said: “The final details of the quarantine scheme will be released soon and come in early next month.
“It is the case we should consider further improvements – for example, things like air bridges enabling people from other countries who have themselves achieved lower levels of coronavirus infection to come to the country.
“So, those are active discussions that go beyond what will initially be a blanket situation.”
Countries across Europe have begun outlining plans to get the booming tourism industry back up and running before summer is out.
On Monday, Spanish Transport Minister Jose Luis Abalos said he hoped tourists would be able to enter the county as early as next month.
He said: “From late June, we’ll start the tourism activity, I hope.
“We must make Spain an attractive country from a health point of view.”
Tourism accounts for over 12 percent of Spains economic output and in the past 24 hours, the Spanish health ministry reported just 59 coronavirus deaths – the lowest daily number for two months.
Greece has recorded just 156 COVID-19 deaths in total and on Monday tourists were allowed back at archaeological sites, including the Acropolis in Athens.
The plans 14-day quarantine plans for the UK arrivals has been heavily criticised by airline bosses including Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary.
Across the industry, the Transport Secretary confirmed 43,500 airline staff have been furloughed.
Mr O’Leary claimed the new travel restrictions had no medical or scientific backing.
Mr O’Leary told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “You don’t have enough police in the UK to implement a two-week lockdown.
“And what’s really worrying is that a two-week lockdown has no medical or scientific basis to it in any event.
“If you really want to do something that’s effective – wear masks.”
A spokesman for the Prime Minister said: “Any changes brought in will be subject to a rolling review every three weeks to ensure they are in line with the latest scientific advice and that they remain effective and necessary.
“The PM has said that those arriving in the UK from overseas will be required to self-isolate in order to prevent infections from abroad and the second wave of cases.
“The work on this is continuing and we will set out more details in due course.”
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