IconJune 22nd, 2020
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Quarantine Rules Legally Challenged by UK Airlines

British Airways, EasyJet, and Ryanair have joined forces to launch a legal challenge to the 14-day quarantine requirement of the UK government, which was implemented back on June 8. The rivals have joined forces to ask for a court for a judicial review of the policy as soon as the court can have a hearing.

The four teams combined will present an argument that the quarantine nature is not perfect on both legally and scientifically in regards to its contribution to efforts to slow and reverse the COVID-19 pandemic. They will also argue that a flawed government proposal to establish so-called “air bridges” between the UK and other countries is not feasible.

By choice, the trio is asking that the government readopts its earlier quarantine policy, implemented on March 10, which applied a requirement to quarantine on passengers arriving in the country from certain high-risk countries where the COVID-19 infection rate is higher than that in the UK. The US, Brazil, Russia, and India are currently the only counties that now have higher numbers of infections than the UK.

“This would be the most practical and effective solution and enables civil servants to focus on other, more significant, issues arising from the pandemic while bringing the UK in line with much of Europe, which is opening its [internal] borders in mid-June,” said the airlines in a joint statement.

Four arguments will be presented by the lawyers of the companies against the applicability of the requirement that all travelers be quarantined at a fixed address for 14 days. These are as follows: that, in terms of criminal law, the quarantine is more stringent than guidelines for people who have COVID-19; that the government failed to consult or provide scientific evidence in support of the policy; that workers commuting to and from the UK every week are exempted; and that the rule effectively blocks people traveling to and from countries with lower infection rates than the UK. The quarantine is due to run for an initial three weeks through June 29, and the government has the option to extend it beyond that date.

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