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U.K. to announce quarantine of international travelers, under threat of a £1,000 fine.

U.K. to announce quarantine of international travelers, under threat of a £1,000 fine.
In London this month.
Credit...Andrew Testa for The New York Times

The British government confirmed on Friday that it will quarantine everyone flying into the country, including citizens, to fight the spread of the coronavirus.

On arrival at an airport, travelers will have to provide an address where they will be staying. Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis told the broadcaster Sky News on Friday that international travelers would face spot checks by public health officials and fines of 1,000 pounds, or about $1,200, if they failed to self-isolate for 14 days.

Citizens of Ireland would be exempt, Sky reported, but not arrivals from France, as had been previously reported.
Britain’s move comes more than seven weeks after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a stay-at-home order that has since been shifted to “stay alert” and is in line with measures by other countries. The chief executive of the budget airline Ryanair, Michael O’Leary, has described the new plans as “hopelessly defective,” “idiotic” and “unimplementable,” saying that Britain does not even have enough police officers to enforce the lockdown. Airlines UK has said the measure “would effectively kill”international travel to and from Britain.international travel to and from Britain.But Jonathan Ashworth, the opposition Labour Party’s shadow health secretary, told Sky that “many people had asked why we did not do this sooner,” adding, “Not taking all the measures that we should be taking is the idiotic position.”More than 250,000 people have tested positive for the virus in Britain, with over 36,000 deaths.Home Secretary Priti Patel was to set out more details about the new measures at a briefing later Friday, but they are not expected to come into effect until next month.

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