The government have announced on Tuesday there will be harsh new penalties for travellers entering the UK who deliberately fail to quarantine in approved hotels, could be fined up to £10,000.
Also, any traveller who hides a visit to a red-list country “will face a prison sentence of up to 10-years.”
Speaking in the House of Commons, the Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that the UK must “strengthen our defences yet further.”
These new legal measures will come into force this week across England, which could be extended to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Hancock told the Commons that he will make “no apologies for the strength of these measures because we’re dealing with one of the strongest threats to our public health that we’ve faced as a nation.”
This comes as there are strong fears that more infectious mutant variants will enter the UK unless harsh measures are imposed.
Hancock told MPs, “People who flout these rules are putting us all at risk. Passenger carriers will have a duty in law to make sure passengers have signed up for these new arrangements before they travel, and will be fined if they don’t.
“We will be putting in place tough fines for people who don’t comply. This includes a £1,000 penalty for any international arrival who fails to take a mandatory test, a £2,000 penalty to any international arrival who fails to take a second mandatory test, as well as automatically extending their quarantine period to 14 days.
“And a £5,000 fixed penalty notice rising to £10,000 for arrivals who fail to quarantine in the designated hotel.
“We’re also coming down hard on people who provide false information on the passenger locator form.
“Anyone who lies on the passenger locator form and tries to conceal that they’ve been in a country on the red list in the 10 days before arrival here will face a prison sentence of up to 10-years.”