Travellers fined after failing to say came from 'red list' country
Four travellers are fined £10,000 each after failing to declare they had arrived in the UK from ‘red-list’ country so they could avoid £1,750 hotel quarantine
- Passengers ‘attempted to hide their routes’ when landed at Birmingham Airport
- Not clear where they arrived from, but they ‘received £10,000 fines as a result’
- Arrivals from 33 countries have to pay £1,750 to quarantine in hotel for 10 days
Four passengers arriving in the UK have been fined £10,000 each for failing to tell authorities that they came from a ‘red-list’ country.
The passengers landed at Birmingham Airport where they ‘attempted to hide their routes’, West Midlands Police revealed.
Police have not revealed where the four people arrived from, but they were ‘identified and received £10,000 fines as a result’.
Arrivals from 33 ‘red list’ countries now have to pay £1,750 to quarantine in a hotel for ten days.
The passengers landed at Birmingham Airport where they ‘attempted to hide their routes’, West Midlands Police revealed (file image)
They face £10,000 fines if they fail to follow quarantine rules and could be hit with a 10-year jail sentence if they lie about it on their passenger locator forms.
West Midlands Police temporary Assistant Chief Constable Chris Todd said: ‘By midday yesterday, on the first day of implementation, we have received six passengers who had declared travelling from a red list country, who were taken to the quarantine hotel.
‘We also had four passengers who were identified as having travelled from a red list country, that hadn’t declared it.’
The group are understood to have been fined individually, The Sun reports.
Countries on the Red List include Brazil, the United Arab Emirates, Portugal and South Africa.
And the list is set to ‘get longer before it gets shorter’ due to the Government’s concern over the spread of new variants in nations not already on the list.
At least four countries are reporting more than 30 cases of the Brazilian and South African variants.
They include Austria, which has seen 300 positive tests, and Belgium, with 55 – putting them at risk of being added to the list.
A further 33 countries where mutant strains have been found are not on the list.
These include Denmark, France, Greece, Japan, Kenya, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Belgium, Canada and the United States.
Today, it emerged that travellers from red list countries face an additional £1,200 bill on top of the original £1,750 if they test positive during their stay.
Meanwhile, concerns have again been raised about the safety of the current system.
Britain has banned flights from all red list countries, so passengers must take connecting flights, mixing with passengers from countries not on the list.
Shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds claimed the policy ‘creates an unacceptable risk to the health of the British people’.
More countries are expected to be added to the ‘red list’ due to the spread of new variants, airports have been told. Pictured are arrivals at the Heathrow Holiday Inn today
Security escort passengers as they arrive at the Holiday Inn near Heathrow today to begin their ten-day quarantine period
At least four countries are reporting more than 30 cases of the Brazilian and South African variants. They include Austria, which has seen 300 positive tests, and Belgium, with 55 – putting them at risk of being added to the list
It also emerged that Border Force staff were only emailed official guidance about how to execute the new rules two and a half hours before they came into force.
Officers received a lengthy message with five attachments at 9.25pm on Sunday – giving them barely any time to prepare for their implementation at midnight.
One Border Force member at Heathrow called the process ‘an absolute joke’, as sources said many guards had not read the email by the time they started their shifts on Monday.
Travellers in hotels face an ADDITIONAL £1,200 bill on top of original £1,750 charge if they test positive during stay
Travellers from ‘red list’ countries who test positive for coronavirus during their compulsory 10 day stay in a quarantine hotel face an additional £1,200 bill, it emerged today.
All arrivals in England from 33 banned countries must book a stay in Government-approved accommodation at an initial cost of £1,750.
However, people who test positive for the disease will be forced to extend their stay and they must pick up the tab for the additional days spent in self-isolation.
The additional daily rate has been set at £152 and it was only published on the Government’s website on Monday, after some guests had already checked in.
Guests must take two tests during their stay, one on day two and one on day eight, and they can leave when they receive a negative result and once they have quarantined for 10 full days.
But a positive result from the first test will extend a traveller’s stay by two nights at an additional cost of £304.
And London mayor Sadiq Khan also tore into Home Secretary Priti Patel over the quarantine system, which he branded a ‘big failure’.
The Labour politician was asked on Good Morning Britain whether he had full confidence in Ms Patel after she failed to back the head of the Metropolitan Police in an interview last week.
His response was to stop and chuckle before laying into the senior minister.
‘I don’t like to be discourteous or impolite to colleagues, even from other parties,’ he said.
‘I think Priti Patel’s track record as a Home Sec won’t be a great one in relation to what she’s not done to address some of the concerns we had around the hostile environment, I think she has not addressed the concerns we have got in relation to our borders, I think the quarantine policies have been a big failure and I don’t think she has given the police the resources they need.’
Travellers arriving in England must quarantine in a hotel if they have been in one of the Government’s 33 ‘red list’ countries – which includes Portugal, the United Arab Emirates, South America and southern Africa – in the past 10 days.
Under the new rules, immigration control staff must check each traveller’s completed passenger locator form and hotel quarantine booking.
They must also verify passengers have received a negative Covid test, along with evidence of two additional test bookings for their 10-day quarantine period.
Most of the red-listed nations are in southern Africa and south America, but airports have been told to expect more to be added as analysis showed the Brazilian and South African variants are already spreading in other countries.
These include Austria, which has imposed strict new internal travel controls after an outbreak of 300 cases, and Belgium, which has seen 55 people test positive.
A senior airport source told The Telegraph: ‘The ”red list” is going to get longer before it gets shorter, which was disheartening to hear. The Government does seem to be fixated on the idea of quarantining against variants.
‘Given the scientific argument is that border controls are more important the fewer cases we have, there is danger we end up in a position like New Zealand.
‘They have low prevalence but there is a real debate and fear about reopening. They have no exit strategy.’
A Government spokesman said: ‘We are in a global pandemic which is why every traveller is subject to enhanced monitoring at UK airports.
‘People should not be travelling unless absolutely necessary. Every check from pre-departure testing, to the passenger locator form is to strengthen our borders and prevent the spread of coronavirus.
‘Border Force operational guidance on the measures has been issued and is regularly updated to ensure staff are supported on how to apply the new guidance.’
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