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UK to impose 14-day quarantine on new arrivals as COVID-19 deaths hit 36,393

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-05-23 07:46
Britain's Home Secretary Priti Patel holds a daily news conference with Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance (not pictured) and Border Force Director General Paul Lincoln (not pictured) on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at 10 Downing Street in London, Britain May 22, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

LONDON - New arrivals to Britain must self-isolate for two weeks from June 8, with fines for anyone who breaches the measure designed to prevent a second wave of coronavirus from overseas, Home Secretary Priti Patel said Friday.

Chairing the Downing Street briefing, Patel said passengers will need to provide their contact and travel information so they can be traced if infections arise. They could also be contacted regularly during the whole quarantine and face random checks from public health authorities.

Rule breakers would face a 1,000 pounds (1,217 US dollars) fixed penalty notice in England and border force will be able to refuse entry to any non-British citizens who refuses to comply with these regulations, said the Home Office in a statement. Removal from the country could be used as a last resort, it said.

Those in quarantine will not be allowed to accept visitors, unless they are providing essential support, and should not go out to buy food or other essentials where they can rely on others, said the Home Office.

The mandatory self-isolation would not apply to people coming from Ireland, medics tackling COVID-19 and seasonal agricultural workers, said Patel.

The new move came as another 351 COVID-19 patients have died in Britain as of Thursday afternoon, bringing the total coronavirus-related death toll in the country to 36,393, according to the Department of Health and Social Care.

The figures include deaths in all settings, including hospitals, care homes and the wider community.

As of Friday morning, 254,195 people have tested positive for the disease in the country, marking a daily increase of 3,287, said the department.

Earlier in the day, Downing Street did not rule out London emerging from the lockdown sooner than other parts of the country, The Guardian newspaper reported.

"As we are able to gather more data and have better surveillance of a rate of infection in different parts of the country then we will be able to lift measures quicker in some parts of the country than in others," the prime minister's official spokesman was quoted as saying.

In another development, China's COVID-19 vaccine trial has shown some promising results as world is seeking solutions to the pandemic.

China's COVID-19 vaccine trial, the first such vaccine to reach phase 1 clinical trial, has been found to be safe, well-tolerated, and able to generate an immune response against SARS-CoV-2 in humans, according to a study published online on Friday by the medical journal The Lancet.

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