On Sunday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson imposed strict quarantine rules on the UK. The new rules set out by Mr Johnson say that travellers arriving in the UK from abroad will have to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival UK authorities will then conduct spot checks on these individuals, with those caught breaking the rules receiving fines of up to £1,000 or deportation.
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The exceptions to the rules are those flying from Ireland.
However, discussions are in place across Europe as to their being more exceptions the rule across certain countries.
But despite the new restrictions and flights being few and dar between this year, people have managed to arrive in the UK.
Many of the flights have been rescue efforts to repatriate Britons back to the UK from foreign countries.
On Wednesday, Professor John Aston told the Commons’ Science and Technology Committee that hundreds of people with coronavirus had entered the country via UK airports.
So far, when passengers have arrived from abroad via repatriation flights, they have not been required to isolate themselves.
They have instead been allowed to immediately mix with the general population.
And it has now emerged that up to 475 infected people are thought to have arrived in airports just in April.
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Prof Aston said that 95,000 people arrived in the UK by air between April 1 and 26.
Of these 95,000, 53,000 were UK citizens.
Prof Aston was asked how many of those 95,000 were potentially infected with COVID-19.
He responded: “We believe that less than 0.5 percent of those people arriving potentially had COVID-19.”
This amounts to 475 people out of that 95,000.
Prof Aston explained to the committee that the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) used “complicated modelling” to estimate the figure.
“It requires you to understand the prevalence (of COVID-19) within overseas countries as well as the prevalence within the UK,” he said.
It was recently revealed that people flying from France to the UK will not be exempt from the 14-day quarantine rules, unlike previously suggested.
Downing Street has strongly denied that France will be given the exemption, despite comments stating that the Prime Minister had made alternative arrangements in a phone call with French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday.
A spokesman for the Prime Minister said: “If you look at what was actually said in the joint statement on Sunday night, it said no quarantine measures apply to France at this stage and the key words in that sentence are ‘at this stage’.
“So there is no exemption agreed with France. What we have said is that we will be working together with the French on this issue in the coming weeks.
“A working group between the two governments will be set up to ensure that consultation takes place throughout the coming weeks and that cooperation is particularly necessary for the management of our common border.”
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