Travellers entering the UK via British airports will be forced to quarantine for two weeks, a Government source has reportedly revealed.
The move comes as the UK death toll exceeded 20,000 for the first time earlier today, with Home Secretary Priti Patel calling it a “tragic and terrible milestone.”
Pressure has been growing on the Government to enforce a stricter policy for travellers entering the country, following similar schemes in New Zealand, Australia and Germany.
It is believed the Government wants to introduce a Singapore-style approach to airports and ports, with large fines dished out to people caught breaking the quarantine rules.
It is claimed there may be possible exemptions for essential workers such as lorry drivers bringing vital supplies to the UK.
A Government source told the Telegraph: “A stringent, Singapore-style approach at our ports will help the UK manage the risk of travellers entering the country and reduce the possibility of a second peak.
“We are looking at deploying these measures at the right time, in line with the scientific advice and when community transmission has been significantly reduced.
“More than 15,000 people arrive in the UK each day from virus-hit countries.”
Heathrow Airport said passenger numbers for March 2020 fell by 52 per cent compared with 2019, with demand for April expected to fall by 90 per cent.
Earlier in the week, Heathrow boss John Holland urged ministers to introduce mass screenings.
He wrote to Health Secretary Matt Hancock calling for an internationally-agreed standard of measures which could include temperature checks, antibody tests and a requirement that passengers carry health passports to prove they are medically fit.
Last week Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the flow of people coming into the country would not make a significant difference as the virus was already widespread.
He said that routine screening of passengers arriving into UK airports isn’t happening because the number of people had “dropped very dramatically”.
Mr Hancock said: “At the current rate of transmission here, the scientists say that the epidemiological impact of keeping the travel open is very small, because there’s already large transmission here.
“But what I want to do is see the transmission rates here come down, which is why following this guidance is so important.”
No.10 has been contacted for comment.
They declined to comment on the plans to quarantine travellers when asked by the Telegraph.