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British arrests man for ‘failure to self-isolates’

21 Mar, 2020 - 00:03 0 Views
British arrests man for ‘failure to self-isolates’

The Herald

LONDON. — Police yesterday made their first arrest linked to coronavirus quarantining after a 26-year-old man was held for allegedly failing to self-isolate.

Officers on the Isle of Man held the suspect last night — 48 hours after the British Crown dependency passed emergency legislation to tackle the virus on the island in the Irish Sea.

Police have been instructed to arrest anyone who arrives on the island who fails to isolate for a 14-day period, even if they show no symptoms.

The arrested man, who has not been named, is the first Briton to be arrested for breaching strict quarantine rules, which have been imposed in an effort to stop the spread of the killer virus.

He is now facing a fine of up to £10 000 and could be jailed for three months if found guilty and will appear in court in Douglas today after being taken into custody.

The arrest came as millions of people went into self-isolation or are working from home as 144 people in the UK have now died and coronavirus infected thousands more.

There is a growing row over whether the Government should already have shut down cafes, pubs and nightclubs, especially in London, where people have ignored warnings not to socialise to stem the spread of the virus.

Police on mainland Britain will be given powers to arrest and isolate people to protect public health, under emergency coronavirus legislation launched by the Government yesterday — but Health Secretary Matt Hancock has suggested it should be the last resort.

The arrest comes just as the Isle of Man confirmed its first case of coronavirus yesterday.

The Chief Minister for the Isle of Man Howard Quayle declared emergency measures on Monday in light of the global Coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Quayle said: “We are taking action to protect our residents and to ensure life can continue as normal as possible during this unpredictable time.

“We are advising against all non-essential travel off the Island, and the measures being introduced from tomorrow are aimed at minimising the risk of those arriving in the Island infecting our population.”

In a statement posted yesterday morning, the police said they had a man in custody for allegedly failing to adhere to the new legislation requiring him to self-isolate.

Police said: “Please follow the guidance issued by the government and think about the safety of the community.

“This is an ever-evolving situation and it is important we act in the best interests of keeping people safe.”

This comes as Health Secretary Matt Hancock also declared new legislation in the UK which would give unprecedented powers to law enforcement agencies.

The new bill would allow law enforcement agencies on the mainland UK to detain people and put them in “appropriate isolation facilities”.

The Health Secretary said the powers in the bill were “proportionate to the threat we face” but stressed they would only be used “when strictly necessary”.

They include allowing the Border Force to suspend operations at airports or transport hubs if there are insufficient resources to ensure security, and the greater use of video hearings in court cases. —

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