On Friday, May 22, the UK government announced that all arrivals into the country from outside the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man will be required to undergo a mandatory 14-day period of quarantine or face a £1000 fine. Those arriving will be required to fill in a contact form, as well as provide a travel itinerary to enable contact tracing should they, or those they have been in contact with, develop the disease. Failure to complete the form will result in a £100 fine. Road haulage and freight workers, medical professionals travelling to help counter COVID-19, and seasonal agricultural workers who can isolate at the property they are working at are exempt.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the easing of some COVID-19 measures in England on May 10, although stay-at-home lockdown measures have been extended until at least June 1. Johnson stated that people may engage in additional exercise, beyond the one form of exercise per day initially introduced on March 23. Individuals who cannot work from home may also return to work. Public transport should be avoided where possible and cycling and walking to work is encouraged. The easing could see primary schools, shops and nurseries partially reopening from June 1, while some cafes or restaurants with outdoor space, plus places of worship, and socially distanced cinemas, could resume operations from July 1. British citizens are advised to only leave their homes to shop for necessities, engage in exercise alone or with members of one's household, and to satisfy medical needs (i.e. to provide care or help an individual vulnerable to COVID-19). Johnson cautioned that police forces may issue increased fines for those not adhering to lockdown measures and added that the rough "roadmap" for easing lockdown will depend on the rate of infections dropping sufficiently.
All nonessential businesses and public venues have been ordered to close, while public gatherings of more than two people have been prohibited (excluding people living together). All social events have also been canceled, excluding funerals.
As of Friday, May 22, UK health authorities have confirmed a total of 36,475 coronavirus disease (COVID-19)-related deaths and 255,541 cases of the virus nationwide. The UK currently has the highest number of COVID-19 related deaths in Europe. Further spread of the virus is expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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