Pair fined £10,000 each after evading quarantine hotel following Dubai trip
They were then transferred to a quarantine hotel anyway – for which they'll have to pay more
Officer says their actions were 'selfish, inconsiderate, and potentially dangerous'
Government introduced quarantine hotels on 15 February, promising big punishments for rule breakers
Two people have each been hit with £10,000 fines after breaking the government’s coronavirus quarantine hotel rules following a trip to Dubai.
The pair, from the Wirral, were reported to Merseyside Police on Tuesday last week for failing to quarantine after returning home.
Following an investigation, they were handed the £10,000 fines three days later, before being transported to a quarantine hotel – for which they will have paid hundreds more.
The force did not say how long the two people will have to stay in the hotel, but under the government rules, British and Irish nationals arriving in England from a “red list” country have to pay £1,750 for a 10-day stay.
Watch: Traveller 'felt like a prisoner' in quarantine hotel
Dubai is a city in the United Arab Emirates, which is one of 33 red list countries. Any British or Irish national who has been in one of these countries over the past 10 days must isolate for 10 days upon arrival in a government-run hotel.
Chief Inspector Chris Barnes, from Merseyside Police, labelled the pair's actions “selfish, inconsiderate, and potentially dangerous” on Tuesday.
“In this instance,” he said, “the pair in question avoided a direct flight route back from Dubai to one of the [five] specified airports in an attempt to evade this process.
“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.”
Anyone required to stay in a quarantine hotel must travel to one of five airports – Heathrow, Gatwick, London City, Birmingham or Farnborough – before being "escorted" to the hotel.
The £10,000 fines are part of the draconian international travel rules announced by health secretary Matt Hancock on 9 February. The quarantine hotel policy came into force on 15 February.
Watch: Hotel quarantine rules explained