'Selfish' couple who tried to avoid quarantine hotel on return from Dubai fined £20,000 and taken to hotel anyway

A "SELFISH" couple have been fined £20,000 after failing to quarantine when they arrived back from Dubai.

The man and woman tried to avoid the Covid rules by travelling on a flight to a British airport that isn't on the specified list for "red list" countries.

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They then returned to their home in the Wirral in Merseyside instead of checking into a designated quarantine hotel for ten days under the law.

But following a police probe, they were each handed a £10,000 fine and taken to a hotel still by officers on Friday.

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Merseyside Police confirmed the penalties were given for failing to comply with Covid regulations following international travel.

Chief Inspector Chris Barnes said: “Strict rules around international travel have been put in place by the government for a reason, and to disregard them in this way is selfish, inconsiderate, and potentially dangerous.

“Currently, the regulations mean that if you are a British or Irish National, or you have residence rights in the UK and are returning from a country on the foreign travel red list, you must quarantine in a government approved hotel for 10 days. If you are required to quarantine at a hotel, you can only arrive in England at certain ports of entry.

“In this instance, the pair in question avoided a direct flight route back from Dubai to one of the specified airports in an attempt to evade this process, however, this was ultimately unsuccessful and has now resulted in a significant fine of £10,000 each.

“I hope this incident sends out a clear message to anyone considering breaching travel regulations in this way that we will not tolerate it, and you will be dealt with robustly."

Under the Covid rules, anyone travelling from a "red list" country – such as Dubai or Brazil – must quarantine in a hotel for 10 days.

Around 1,200 people are staying in the government-approved hotels, which guests must pay for out their own pocket with a cost of around £1,750.

Those who breach the quarantine rules can receive fine of up to £10,000 or 10 years in prison.

The rule applies to people returning to Scotland from any destination.

If travellers return a negative test on day two and day eight of their stay they are allowed to leave.

The Government has insisted the scheme was brought in to prevent the spread of further Covid-19 variants in the UK and help officials to track any new cases which might arrive into Britain.

CI Barnes said: "We are at a crucial point in the pandemic and it’s vital that everyone continues to abide by the restrictions so that we can meet the criteria needed for lockdown to ease.

"By not doing so, you are not only jeopardising this process, but recklessly putting your health and the health of others at risk.”

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