UK airlines said they were informed that the government will bring in a 14-day quarantine for anyone arriving in Britain from any country apart from the Republic of Ireland in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The new restriction is expected to take effect at the end of this month, the BBC reported on Friday.
Industry body Airlines UK, which represents British Airways, EasyJet and other country-based airlines, said the policy needed "a credible exit plan" and should be reviewed weekly. People arriving in the UK would have to self-isolate at a private residence.
Address while arriving at the border
Government and aviation sources told BBC News that the quarantine would mean people might be expected to provide an address when they arrive at the border. It was not clear how long the new travel restriction would be in place and whether non-UK residents would be allowed to stay in rented private accommodation.
"We need to see the details of what they are proposing", said Airlines UK in a statement. Aviation Minister Kelly Tolhurst was expected to clarify the policy to airline and airport representatives in a conference call scheduled for Saturday. UK airports suggested that a quarantine "would not only have a devastating impact on the UK aviation industry but also on the wider economy".
Karen Dee from the Airport Operators Association, which represents most UK airports, said the measure should be applied "on a selective basis following the science" and "the economic impact on key sectors should be mitigated".