Passengers entering the UK will be forced to go into a 14-day quarantine under new plans being drawn up by UK officials.
Ministers hope the restrictions, which could be implemented next month, will help to prevent a second peak of infections when countries around the world relax border controls and allow travel again.
It comes amid criticism that the UK has failed to impose strict enough measures around travel, with more than 15,000 passengers arriving into the country daily, with 200,000 coming from one of the worst-hit nations, Spain.
The UK is still operating an open borders policy, unlike 130 other countries who closed theirs. Airport bosses have also complained over the relaxed rules, which include a failure to test passengers on arrival to the UK.
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However, it is understood the new lockdown plans for travellers was agreed during a meeting of ministers and other UK officials on Wednesday, reported the Mail on Sunday.
They were instructed to come up with ways to enforce such rules, including imposing large fines or even criminal prosecution under the Coronavirus Act.
During the meeting, it was agreed authorities would have the power to visit registered addresses of passengers to make sure they were adhering to their two-week lockdown.
A Government source said: ‘A stringent, Singapore-style approach at our ports will help the UK manage the risk from 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.’
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab confirmed this morning that the Government was considering checks on people arriving at sea ports and airports across the UK.
Ministers had previously rejected such an approach, arguing it would have little impact given the low numbers coming into the UK and the rate of community transmission in the country.
Mr Raab said: ‘We have continually, throughout, tested this with the scientists and with the chief medical officer to make sure that as the evidence changes we are able to take any new measures that are necessary.
‘So that is something that we will be looking at. It could include the testing of people coming in. It could include social distancing.’
At least 90 per cent of the world’s population are living with travel restrictions, which stop passengers from travelling into the country. However, Britain is in that small percentage which has not banned such travel.
Various countries have already implemented a 14-day lockdown for travellers arriving from abroad, including some of the nations with the lowest numbers of infections such as New Zealand and Australia, while Greece and Germany are among others to implement such rules.
Japan and Hong Kong test travellers on arrival – even those who test negative are placed into isolation.
It comes after it was revealed more than 500 private jets have landed in UK airfields from coronavirus hotspots, since the nationwide lockdown started on March 23.
A total of 15 flew in from the world’s worst-hit country, the US, another 25 from coronavirus-stricken Spain, 27 from France, and 32 from Germany.
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