* UK arrivals face mandatory 14-day self-isolation

* Rules will be enforced with fines

* Airlines and business groups say move sends wrong message
(Adds France ready to impose reciprocal measures)

By Alistair Smout and Kylie MacLellan

LONDON, May 22 (Reuters) – Britain will introduce a COVID-19
quarantine for travellers arriving from abroad from June 8,
interior minister Priti Patel said on Friday, a measure that
airlines have warned will devastate their industry.

All international arrivals, including returning Britons,
will have to self-isolate for 14 days and provide details of
where they will be staying under the plans, which were
criticised by airlines, business groups and politicians alike.

“Now we are past the peak of this virus, we must take steps
to guard against imported cases triggering a resurgence of this
deadly disease,” Patel said at a news conference.

Those who breach the quarantine in England could be fined
1,000 pounds ($1,218), and spot checks would be carried out by
health and border officials.

The quarantine will not apply to those arriving from the
Irish Republic, or to freight drivers, medical professionals and
seasonal agricultural workers. The measures will be reviewed
every three weeks.

Transport minister Grant Shapps has suggested the government
would seek to negotiate “air bridges” for travellers coming from
countries with low virus infection rates.

In France, Britain’s closest neighbour on the continent of
Europe, the government said it regretted Britain’s decision. It
stood ready to impose reciprocal measures, AFP news agency cited
the French interior ministry as saying.

Unlike many other countries, Britain has carried out few
tests and checks on visitors, with quarantine limited only to
arrivals from China at the start of the outbreak.

Spain and Italy have introduced rules that mean
international arrivals must self-isolate for two weeks, while on
Friday Ireland gave further details for its own quarantine


The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said the blanket
quarantine was deeply concerning and could be avoided with
strong safety measures.

“This approach will damage international business and
investor confidence at a time when it is vital to demonstrate
that the UK can open for business safely,” BCC Director General
Adam Marshall said.

The opposition Labour Party supported the measures but said
the government’s handling of UK arrivals had “lacked urgency,
coherence and clarity from the outset”. Some members of Prime
Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative party have also criticised
the plan.

Chief among industry critics are airline bosses, who have
said the measures would have severe repercussions. Michael
O’Leary, Ryanair’s chief executive, said they would be
“unenforceable and unpoliceable.”

Ryanair and easyJet have outlined plans to
restart some flights in coming months. But under the quarantine
plan, Virgin Atlantic will not restart until August at the

“Introducing a quarantine at this stage makes no sense and
will mean very limited international aviation at best,” said Tim
Alderslade, chief executive of industry body Airlines UK. “It is
just about the worst thing government could do if their aim is
to restart the economy.”
(Additional reporting by Estelle Shirbon, Guy Faulconbridge and
Kate Holton; editing by Michael Holden, Stephen Addison and
Leslie Adler)