Police forces across Britain are probing thousands of people who have potentially refused to self-isolate after returning to the country.
Those coming home from destinations deemed ‘unsafe’ are required to quarantine for 14 days.
Confusion arose this week when England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland took different stances on adding Greece or Portugal to their respective ‘red-lists’.
In England, health officials will check to see if people are self-isolating as required, and if no one responds after several attempts, Border Force will refer their details to police and an officer will pay them a visit.
According to the Guardian, the Metropolitan Police has had more than 1,000 of these referrals since the start of August.
The force has visited 840 of these people so far and is planning to contact another 310 potential quarantine-breakers.
Greater Manchester Police said it had received 263 referrals and had issued two fixed-penalty notices to people repeatedly breaking self-isolation rules.
The force said they visit Brits if they fail to answer calls from Border Force or Public Health England officials three times.
Stressing the importance of following the rules, Supt Andrew Sidebotham said: ‘During this time you could unknowingly pass the virus on to others, even if you don’t have symptoms.’
Meanwhile Avon and Somerset police and West Midlands police are also understood to have had numerous cases referred to them.
Catherine Noakes, a member of the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), warned the country is at tipping point which could see a second wave of infections leading to another nationwide lockdown unless people are more careful and follow the rules.
Earlier today the Department of Health said there had been another 1,940 Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours – the highest daily figure since May.
An unnamed Sage source told the Guardian: ‘If we add in a lot of new opportunities for contacts as we are doing at present, with the return of schools and students in both higher education and further education, it is really inevitable that there will be an increase.
‘The question is whether that can be contained as controlled outbreaks or whether the infections become community wide again.
‘I would say that it is pivotal. We either go in to the winter in a position where we feel confident that we have this problem on a string, or where it is still a wild beast which we can’t control. I suspect it’s the latter.’
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