40 people face £ 10,000 fine by fleeing Birmingham Airport hotel quarantine


Birmingham Airport

The figures were released as part of a paper presented to the Police and Crime Strategy Council chaired by West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Foster on September 28.

Newspapers show that between February 14 and August 26, 38 people fled from quarantine in the West Midlands.

But an updated figure of 40 people from the period up to September 28 has now been given by the CCP office.

The meeting learned that there were a number of reasons people did this and faced “high fines” when arrested by the police.

The government website says anyone breaking the quarantine rules can face a fine of up to £ 10,000.

British and Irish citizens or those with UK residence rights are all allowed to travel to the UK if they have been in a Red List country within the last ten days.

Anyone in this group arriving in the UK must self-quarantine for a full ten days in a ‘managed quarantine hotel‘ and take Covid tests no later than day 2 and day 8 or after.

As of July 19, people returning from Orange List countries do not have to be quarantined upon return.

Of the 40 people who fled, six received a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) from the West Midlands Police; while eight received an FPN by another force and one received a subpoena by another police force.

In three cases, no further action was taken by another police force – and in 13 cases, no further action was requested by the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs.

Four were not eligible for an NPF due to their age or lack of capacity; three suspects are still “pending / not located”; and data is not retained in two cases.

Chief Superintendent Richard North said it was sometimes “problematic” for people who had been quarantined after arriving from a country on the Red List but were being treated as a “top priority”.

In response to a question from Victims Commissioner Counselor Nicky Brennan, he said: “During the pandemic, we sometimes had to make tough decisions when people ran away from the hotel.

“What we would do is prioritize these cases, track them down, and they would get pretty big fines.

“There were times when we had to make decisions about the viability of using force to get them back to an unsafe place. […].

“We had individual cases where, because they had returned to private accommodation where they were self-isolating, in fact to expose the agents to that and the possibility of them leaving the hotel again was problematic.

“So they would be registered as runaways, but in the end a deterrent effect was created as they would receive a high level fine.

“It’s not as simple as a normal criminal offense where you would go into custody and then fines and possibly jail time, it’s about trying to manage and reduce exposure to the community in the sense large. […]. “

Speaking about why they fled, he said: “There are all kinds of reasons. It is difficult to stay in an isolated hotel under these circumstances […].

“Sometimes there was a dispute over whether they needed medical attention and that was a problem area for us.

“So it could be that medical professionals say they did not need to go to the hospital […] but then they would show other symptoms.

He added that sometimes people argued over whether to be on the red list based on where they were before they returned home.


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