POSTIES and lorry drivers are among the workers who are exempt from new quarantine rules in a bid to keep Britain moving during the pandemic.
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They face spot checks and those found to breach the rules could be slapped with a £1,000 fine or face potential prosecution and an unlimited fine.
But some jobs require frequent travel so to keep the economy moving, the government has eased restrictions for specific workers to allow them to continue moving smoothly between countries.
These include lorry drivers, pilots and postal workers whose job it is to transport international mail.
Who won’t need to quarantine?
YOU won’t need to quarantine when arriving in the UK from abroad if you fit into one of the following categories:
- Travellers passing through a UK airport, as long as they don’t go through border control
- Anyone arriving from the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man (the Common Travel Areas)
- Patients travelling to the UK to receive pre-arranged medical treatment
- Someone who works in the UK but lives overseas and returns to that country typically once a week or vice versa – someone who lives in the UK but travels overseas for work once a week on average
- Road haulage and freight workers
- Medical and care professionals arriving in the UK to provide essential healthcare
- Seasonal farm workers, as long as they self-isolate on the farm they’re allowed to mix with fellow workers
- Workers with specialist technical skills, such as system operators, then are needed to carry out emergency work
- Merchant pilots and crew
- Seamen and masters
- Postal workers
- Essential workers for the BBC
- Diplomats and consulates
The latest list of exemptions was published on the government website on May 22 but an updated list has is due to be published online this week.
If you’re not travelling for work and your job isn’t on this list then you will have to make sure that you quarantine for two weeks.
This is because the COVID-19 has a two to 14 day incubation period where you may carry the disease but not show any symptoms.
Travellers who will have to quarantine are allowed to take public transport to get to where they will be staying.
They’ll also be able to pop out for food and to attend funerals.
Officials have also been given the powers to refuse entry to foreign travellers if they disobey UK authorities.
But removing travellers from the country will be considered “as a last resort” for foreign nationals who refuse to comply with the order to stay at a single residence.
Initially, the rules will only be in place for three weeks before the policy is reviewed and potentially extended.
That means the first review will fall on June 29.
Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales are expected to outline their own devolved travel restrictions in the coming days.
The plans have been slammed by critics who claim it will cost the UK economy £650million a week and that it could even kill off the travel industry altogether.
As a result, some Tory MPs as well as travel industry chiefs calling for it to be abandoned.
Currently, there are no quarantine rules in place for those arriving in the UK – but they have to stick to the same restrictions in place for Brits to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
The government has been criticised for not introducing the checks at borders during the height of the pandemic but today the Home Secretary defended the decision.
She said that they would have had a “very marginal” impact on the number of cases in the country.
She added that checks for symptoms of Covid-19 were brought in for passengers arriving from Wuhan on January 22, the whole of China on January 25, Japan on February 8 and Iran on February 25.