Travel companies have already said they are looking to exploit the loophole, with the Irish capital exempt from isolation rules.
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Brits returning from abroad and passengers arriving for a holiday in the UK could dodge the two-week quarantine by passing through Dublin.
Travellers coming from Ireland are exempt from restrictions forcing UK arrivals to self-isolate for 14 days because the country is a member of the Common Travel Area – classing them under the same rules as the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands.
They would also avoid Ireland's own coronavirus quarantine rules for arriving travellers, which are waived if people are going onward into the UK.
The advice from Ireland’s Health Service Executive, which manages healthcare in the country, says: “The only people who do not need to self-isolate are people who are… briefly stopping over at an airport on their way to another country.”
We can see a real demand for short-notice travel once restrictions are slackened, and are already looking at offers that divert via Dublin so we’re ready to help plan weekend breaks as demand starts to return.
This leaves two potential routes for passengers looking to exploit the UK’s quarantine rules.
First, they could book a flight from a foreign country to Dublin with an immediate connection on the same airline into the UK.
Alternatively, they could arrive into the Irish city and declare an intention to travel into Northern Ireland via a direct bus journey.
Travel companies have already said they are looking to cash in on the loophole.
Mike Woolridge, founder of Flyaway Weekends, said: “We can see a real demand for short-notice travel once restrictions are slackened, and are already looking at offers that divert via Dublin so we’re ready to help plan weekend breaks as demand starts to return.”
A spokesperson for the Home Office confirmed the quarantine loophole, saying: “Anyone travelling from Ireland will be exempt.
“However, given the high levels of compliance we have seen to date, we expect that the majority of people will do the right thing and abide by these measures.”
It comes after Home Secretary Priti Patel announced the UK’s quarantine rules yesterday.
Ms Patel said that arrivals into the UK must self-isolate for two weeks from June 8, with rule breakers facing a £1,000 fine.
The government will ask all travellers to give an address where they will observe the quarantine period.
The Home Secretary said: “This will require international arrivals to self-isolate for 14 days – that is the incubation period for the virus.
“So for people who have become infected overseas we can limit this spread of the virus.
“With far fewer people being infected in this country, any new arrivals will have a much bigger impact, potentially causing a second wave.”
Ms Patel also gave fresh hope for foreign holidays this summer through “safe corridors”.
These could see Brits allowed to travel into countries with similar infection rates without having to spend weeks in quarantine.
The Home Secretary said yesterday: “When it comes to air bridges, we should be absolutely open to all ideas.
“This is not for today but it doesn’t mean we should rule this out for the future.
“We should be looking to lead the world when it comes to reopening aviation but that’s going to take time.”
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