A Second Legal Challenge to the UK Government’s Quarantine Measures as it Becomes Clear Enforcement is Impractical

By Valery Collins | June 10, 2020

Fuertaventura one of the Balearic Islands Credit: Valery Collins

A second legal challenge to the UK Quarantine rules has been started with a pre-action letter from Simon Dolan, owner of Southend-based charter airline Jota Aviation.  But, legal action may be unnecessary as enforcement of the measures is proving to be impractical.

Second Legal Challenge

Lawyers have sent a letter to the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, on behalf of Simon Dolan.  It points out that the Government’s scientific experts do not support UK quarantine.  Another challenge from Quash Quarantine is also a possibility.  This new group represents over five hundred hotels, travel and hospitality firms.  It reports that senior Government sources have given private assurances that travel corridors will be operational from June 29.  The quarantine measures may have been abandoned by then because, within two days of their introduction, it is clear they are impractical.

Diluted Police Enforcement of Quarantine Rules

The Isle of Capri in Italy Credit: Valery Collins

Yesterday a member of the UK Border Force stated that a vast majority of passengers had not filled in forms in advance.  Those who do will have an online reference number.  But, immigration officers can’t log in to check the form is correct.  The National Police Chiefs’ Council has issued guidelines for spot checks during the quarantine.  If the designated address is false, there will be no further action.  There will be a referral to the UK Border Force.

The police will not take immediate further action if they discover an individual who is self-isolating at the wrong address.   They will only remove that person as a last resort.  But they will notify the Public Health authorities.  In other words, the police are taking a back seat in enforcing quarantine which they see as the responsibility of Public Health authorities.

The Reaction of British Holidaymakers to an Uncertain Situation

Puerta de la Cruz on Tenerife in the Canary Islands Credit: Valery Collins

The Foreign Office ban on non-essential travel is still in force, but this may change soon.  Some people are planning staycations this year due to the uncertainty of foreign travel.  Kuoni has reported a trend for expensive holidays in 2021 as bookings are increasing.  More than half are for the Maldives.

But a large number have decided to go ahead and book holidays despite the constantly changing situation.  Michael O’Leary, CEO of Ryanair, reported that ‘bookings doubled this weekend compared with the previous weekend.  Mainly UK families are booking holidays to go to the Canaries, the Algarve, the Balearics, Malaga and Italy.  He went on to say:  ‘Most people in the UK know that the quarantine is completely bonkers and useless. Most are gambling, in my view correctly, that the quarantine has so little credibility that it will be removed before the end of June.’

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