British tourists hoping for a holiday in the sun this year could be sorely disappointed. Ms Patel announced yesterday that anyone arriving in the UK from abroad will face 14 days in quarantine. Anyone caught breaking the rules could be fined up to £1,000 or face deportation.
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The Home Secretary said yesterday: “This will require international arrivals to self-isolate for 14 days – that is the incubation period for the virus.
“So for people who have become infected overseas we can limit this spread of the virus.
“With far fewer people being infected in this country, any new arrivals will have a much bigger impact, potentially causing a second wave.”
The rules include Britons arriving back in the country from holiday, putting many peoples’ future holidays in jeopardy.
The only exceptions are those travelling from Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.
Britons now face having to take weeks off work for a weekend away.
But now a loophole has been allegedly exposed which could see people try to avoid the quarantine rules all together.
Reportedly, some travel companies have said that they are looking to exploit the new rules by flying via Dublin, accoridng to The Sun.
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Anyone coming from Ireland is exempt from the new UK restrictions because the country is a part of the Common Travel Area.
However, Ireland also has its own 14-day quarantine rules in place.
But these rules do not count for people who are only stopping at an airport on their way into another country.
Ireland’s Health Service Executive, which manages healthcare in the country confirmed that people arriving at airports on a stopover do not need to isolate on arrival.
They said: “The only people who do not need to self-isolate are people who are… briefly stopping over at an airport on their way to another country.”
If this loophole remains open, then this leaves two ways in which travellers could avoid the UK’s 14-day quarantine rules.
A traveller could book a flight from a foreign country to Dublin with a connection on the same airline.
Or travellers could arrive in Dublin from abroad and tell the Irish government that they will be travelling to Northern Ireland via a direct bus journey.
Once in Northern Ireland, travellers are in the UK so will not need to quarantine themselves.
A spokesperson for the Home Office said: “Anyone travelling from Ireland will be exempt.
“However, given the high levels of compliance we have seen to date, we expect that the majority of people will do the right thing and abide by these measures.”
Twitter users have taken to the site to express their outrage and disbelief at the “loophole”.
One user said: “Ridiculous, too late, too slow, should have happened two month ago and then restrictions eased at similar times in some other countries…”
Another said: “The stable door has been shut, but there’s a side door left open.”
Another tweeted: “So if we travel abroad and fly back to Dublin and then drive home to Northern Ireland are we exempt?”
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