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Published on Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Boris Johnson crushes hopes of early end to quarantine


PM Boris Johnson has indicated that there will be no early end to the UK's mandatory quarantine for people entering the country.

Speaking at the Downing Street daily briefing on the UK's battle against coronavirus, he insisted the rule that new arrivals should self-isolate for 14 days was necessary to prevent the spread of the disease.

When asked about the prospect of air bridges to allow quarantine-free travel between certain countries with fewer cases of Covid-19, Johnson's choice of words indicated these were not imminent.

The government is not due to review the mandatory 14-day quarantine, imposed on June 8, until the end of the month.

The travel industry had hoped that putting pressure on the government would result in it being lifted earlier.

British Airways, easyJet and Ryanair have mounted a legal challenge, requesting a judicial review ASAP.

And industry campaign group Quash Quarantine has written twice to Home Secretary Priti Patel pointing out the potentially damaging effect for travel businesses, the second time calling for her resignation if the airline's legal challenge is successful.

However, yesterday Johnson said: "The reason for having the quarantine system is very simple: we don't want to re-import the disease just at the moment when we've really got it under control in this country."

In response to a question on the possibility of air bridges he said: "We're certainly looking at air bridges and ways to ensure that people can safely go on holiday eventually."

His use of the word 'eventually' suggests there is unlikely to be an air bridge between the UK and Spain by the time Spain opens its borders on Sunday, which could mean British holidaymakers continue to be banned.

While the Spanish government initially stated that Spain would be open from Sunday to all EU countries, including the UK, its foreign minister later indicated it could impose a tit for tat quarantine on British tourists if the UK quarantine remains in place.

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  • BUT, home quarantine is NOT being enforced in

    UK or many EU countries.

    By Michael Anderson, Friday, June 19, 2020

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