In the UK, incoming travellers from red and amber-listed countries are mandated to follow a rigorous quarantine and testing protocol to curb the spread of COVID. Those arriving from locations in the red list have to complete a self-isolation for 10 days in a government-run hotel, while those from amber list destinations have to do the same but at a residence of their choice.
Although this measure is non-negotiable, the government has been accused of ‘gross negligence’ after the BBC revealed that hundreds of thousands of travellers, specifically coming from amber-listed countries, may have broken the rules.
According to information the broadcasting company got under Freedom of Information laws, over one million people had arrived in England and Northern Ireland between 17 March and 31 May, of which investigators were told to check if 301,076 were actually following the correct self-isolation protocol.
It is still unclear whether all individuals were found guilty of leaving their residence before due time, but the Home Office has said that they will be paying a visit to all suspected travellers.
How does the government check self-isolation?
The guidance outlined by the government on GOV.UK confirms that the NHS Test and Trace carries out regular quarantine checks to ensure that everyone is following the rules.
Every individual arriving from countries on the red and amber list will be contacted by the Test and Trace system daily, and they may also be visited in-person. The guidance states:
The staff will state your name and ask you to confirm it. They will also ask to see identification to confirm your identity. They will then ask you a few questions to find out if you are following quarantine rules, and will give you additional information or guidance where necessary. You may receive follow-up visits.
If you are suspected of having broken the rules, NHS staff can report the case to the police and if you are found guilty you will be asked to pay a fine ranging from £1,000 to £10,000, the latter if you have multiple offences.