Four passengers have been fined £10,000 each after failing to declare they had arrived in the UK from a ‘red list’ country.
They were caught after landing at Birmingham Airport on Monday, the first day that tougher border rules came into force.
British and Irish nationals and UK residents returning to England from a country deemed at high risk for Covid-19 variants must now declare so on a form and isolate in a hotel for at least 11 nights at an initial cost of £1,750.
Passengers face fines of up to £10,000 for failing to quarantine, while those who lie on their passenger locator forms face up to 10 years in jail.
Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Chris Todd told a meeting held by the force’s strategic policing and crime board that the huge fines have already been imposed on four people held to have breached the new rules.
He said: ‘By midday yesterday (Monday), on the first day of implementation, we have received six passengers who had declared travelling from a red list country, who were taken to the quarantine hotel.
‘We also had four passengers who were identified as having travelled from a red list country, that hadn’t declared it.
‘So there are some people who have who have attempted to hide their routes but that’s not worked out.
‘They were identified and received £10,000 fines as a result.’
There are 33 countries on the Government’s ‘red list’, including Portugal, the United Arab Emirates, South America and southern Africa. The Government has banned direct flights from those locations to the UK.
The four people fined had flown to Birmingham via a country not on the list.
Only people who are UK or Irish nationals or UK residents are allowed to enter the UK from a ‘red list’ country.
Those returning must arrive at one of eight airports. Mr Todd added that six passengers had flown to Manchester Airport – not one of the designated airports – despite spending time in a ‘red list’ location.
They were transferred to Birmingham for hotel quarantining.
Scotland has extended the requirement to isolate in a hotel to cover arrivals from any country, unless they have travelled from or via the common travel area (CTA), which includes the UK and Ireland.
This loophole led to a man and his daughter who entered the programme on Monday being allowed to leave after just one day and complete their isolation at home.
Chun Wong and eight-year-old Kiernan arrived at Edinburgh Airport from the US via a connecting flight in Dublin, and were taken to a nearby hotel to begin their quarantine.
However, Mr Wong was later contacted by officials to tell him he did not need to abide by the rules.
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