UK Government launches procurement exercise to support self-isolation compliance

The government has today (Thursday 18 March) launched a procurement exercise for contractors to carry out further visits on those who have a duty to quarantine following international travel.

Currently, individuals who return to England following international travel are required to quarantine for a period of 10 days at a managed quarantine site or the address listed on their Passenger Locator Form.

Police officers have already been carrying out checks on those self-isolating at home, making up to 1,000 home visits per day.

This contract will allow the government to more than double the number of compliance checks on those who must quarantine at home in England following international travel.

Contractors will carry out compliance visits and, if they find individuals are not quarantining at home as required, they will pass on the relevant information to the police, who will assess and can issue a fixed penalty notice if necessary. Contractors will not have any formal enforcement powers.

Individuals who fail to comply with their legal duty to quarantine at home following international travel can be fined £1,000, increasing up to £10,000 for repeat offences.

This procurement will support government and police efforts to increase compliance with coronavirus regulations, which in turn will protect the NHS and save lives.

These checks are in addition to the work by the Isolation Assurance Service to contact everyone returning from non-red list countries that are staying in England and Northern Ireland. People are called in order to check their status and to provide advice on the need to self-isolate and what to do if they’re experiencing symptoms. They are also given information about taking tests on day 2 and day 8 of their self-isolation period. These calls are made repeatedly, alongside text messages where necessary. Any concerns can then be escalated to decide whether further checks are needed.

The tender process will be open until 25 March and we anticipate a contract to be in place by early April.


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