SOME travellers are deliberately avoiding getting a Covid test when they arrive in the UK to avoid the new restrictions – paying a £500 fine instead.
Rule-breakers are choosing to pay the fine so they don’t have to have a negative Covid test or to give their details via the Passenger Locator Form.
Lucy Moreton, professional officer for ISU which represents borders staff, said that Brits have been paying the fine to stay off off the records.
She explained to the MailOnline that it’s “not common but it does happen”.
She continued: “We can speculate that it is because they don’t for some reason want the UK government to have their personal details.
“We can’t detain or arrest them if they have a right of entry into the UK. We can only refuse people who don’t have right of entry.”
Sun Online Travel contacted the Home Office for comment.
Anyone without a negative test is fined £500, but is not held on criminal offences and is let back into the UK.
Airlines must also enforce the negative test before passengers board or face £2,000 fines per passenger, so isn’t clear how travellers board without it.
A union chief revealed that more than 30 travellers were fined at least £200 for breaking the new rules at Heathrow Airport alone.
The new rules enforce a negative Covid test on arrival, along with the Passenger Locator Form.
Arrivals must also quarantine for ten days although this can be shortened with a negative test on the fifth day.
Brits who are caught flouting the quarantine rules face much stricter fines up to £10,000.
The new rules have been causing problems since they were initially introduced on Monday, after Transport Secretary Grant Shapps delayed the restrictions from last week.
A number of travellers from the US were banned from boarding their flight to the UK following the new rules, according to the MailOnline, over confusion regarding their coronavirus test.
Many had a lateral flow tests – allowed by the government – but were told it was not permitted.
Other arrivals were stopped at border control as their negative test results were not in English, required by the government.
There are some exemptions – hauliers, children under 11, and flight and international rail crew are all exempt, along with travellers from the Common Travel Area, which includes the Republic of Ireland, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.
Anyone travelling from an area that does not have the facilities in place for negative testing are also exempt for now, which includes St Lucia, Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, although they will be included from tomorrow.