A man in Fermanagh, Northern Ireland has been fined £1,000 for flouting the UK’s quarantine measures on his return from Spain. The individual was allegedly issued the penalty after he was spotted socialising over the weekend. The man later tested positive for Covid-19 after travelling back from the Balearic Islands.
People returning from countries that are not on Northern Ireland’s green list for safe travel, such as Spain, are required to quarantine for two weeks.
PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd confirmed the £1,000 fine was issued on Tuesday.
Todd said: “The management of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020, is a matter for UK Border Force and their associated partners.
“The police role is to respond to reports from the UK Border Force or any of their associated partners of potential breaches but police will also act on any significant concerns raised by members of the public.
“As always, our approach remains to engage, explain and encourage, and only where necessary enforce.
“Everyone needs to continue to follow the Government’s guidance to help suppress the transmission of the virus and support our NHS.
“It is encouraging to see that to date there has been a high level of compliance since the introduction of the mandatory quarantine on travellers coming into Northern Ireland from restricted countries and I hope that continues.”
What are the quarantine rules?
On March 17, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) decided to impose measures against non-essential travel due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The stringent blanket rules were lifted on June 8, leading to the government deciding that Britons could travel abroad but had to isolate for 14 days when they returned to the UK and fill out a passenger locator form.
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After July 6, the FCDO confirmed that people returning from certain countries after they date wouldn’t have to quarantine for 14 days.
The list included the likes of Spain, France and Croatia which have all been removed since due to spikes in coronavirus.
Two travel lists now exist; one allowing Britons to travel abroad to certain countries but quarantine for 14 days on their return; the other advising people to quarantine on their return.
The list is being reviewed on a weekly basis, with the latest announcement now due tomorrow, according to Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
Anyone caught flouting the rules could face a £1,000 fine.
If you’re a resident or visitor travelling to the UK from any country, you must provide your journey and contact details.
You may be fined up to £100 if you refuse to provide your contact details.
In certain cases, you need to self-isolate even if you only stopped off or transited in a country that is not on the quarantine exemption list such as France.
How do you quarantine for 14 days?
Travellers should try to travel directly to the location where they will be self-isolating.
If you have to use public transport, you must wear a mask and try to stay two metres away from other people.
You can stay overnight somewhere if your journey to your quarantine accommodation is long but this must be declared.
You must stay in your quarantine accommodation for 14 days but not have any visitors unless you are providing essential care.
People you are staying with do not need to self-isolate unless they travelled with you or develop symptoms of coronavirus.
During the quarantine period, you cannot go to work, school or public places.
Shopping should be delivered directly or picked up for you.
The only circumstances in which you can leave your chosen quarantine location are for medical assistance, accessing food and medicine if they cannot be delivered, attending a funeral or fulfilling a legal obligation.
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