Air passengers arriving in Britain will soon have to quarantine for a fortnight as part of a move to avoid a second peak of the coronavirus.
Airlines UK, the trade body for UK registered airlines, has confirmed to Sky News that the move will be introduced by the government for anyone arriving into the UK other than from Ireland, to ease the spread of COVID-19.
The announcement on travel is reportedly set to be made by Prime Minister Boris Johnson when he sets out a road map for easing the coronavirus lockdown in an address to the nation on Sunday.
Under the measures, which are expected to come into force in June, all passengers arriving at airports – including returning UK citizens – will have to provide an address where they will self-isolate for 14 days.
Ports will also be included, according to The Times.
The report states that authorities will carry out spot checks, and those found breaking the rules face a fine of up to £1,000 or even deportation.
A Home Office spokeswoman said: “We do not comment on leaks. The focus remains on staying at home to protect the NHS and save lives.”
However, both the aviation and tourism industry have warned such a move would be devastating for business, already hard hit by the impact of the pandemic.
Responding to earlier speculation a mandatory quarantine would be part of the government’s coronavirus measures, Airlines UK said the proposal “would effectively kill international travel to and from UK and cause immeasurable damage to the aviation industry and wider UK economy”.
It added: “Nobody is going to go on holiday if they’re not able to resume normal life for 14 days, and business travel would be severely restricted.
“It will also make it all but impossible for aviation to resume any time soon, thereby setting back the UK’s economic recovery still further.”
The government has previously faced criticism for allowing passengers to enter the UK without going into quarantine or undergoing temperature checks.
Ministers said at the time it would not have made a difference because the virus had already spread among the population.
However, once the rate of infection is significantly reduced, this could see the need for tighter border controls.
Travellers from Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man will be exempt, along with lorry drivers bringing in critical supplies.
The quarantine measures reflect those already introduced by other countries, including Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.