Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer of the UK, said on Friday that the country "will not hesitate" if more countries have to be added to its travel quarantine list in order to safeguard public health amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Sunak's remark comes following the country's announcement on late Thursday that travelers arriving from the Bahamas, Andorra and Belgium will have to self-isolate for a period of 14 days. He also urged holidaymakers to be vigilant and to follow government guidance closely, and "make the best decisions they can, knowing we live in uncertain times".
Government to Take Necessary Action Depending on Situation
Asked whether tourist destinations such as France could be next to be added to the quarantine list, Sunak told the BBC that the government is keeping the situation "under constant review" and that people should "be mindful" of the "risk" of disruption to travel given the ongoing global pandemic.
Also speaking to Sky News on the issue, he said the government was doing "the right thing", keeping the situation "under review on a constant basis" and consulting with scientists and medical advisers. If an action was needed, the government would "not hesitate to do that", he said, in order "to protect people's health".
Heavy Fines to be Levied on Violaters
The new rules for Belgium, the Bahamas and Andorra have already come into force in Wales and will take effect in the rest of the UK from Saturday. Quarantines have already been re-imposed for travelers arriving from Spain and Luxembourg.
According to government rules, people who do not self-isolate when required to after being abroad can be fined up to 1,000 pounds in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Those returning to Scotland could be fined 480 pounds, with fines up to 5,000 pounds for persistent offenders.
(With inputs from agencies)