From June 8th 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, travellers to the UK, including UK residents, must self-isolate for 14 days by law.
If you arrive in the UK on or after 8 June 2020, you will not be allowed to leave the place you’re staying for the first 14 days you’re in the UK (known as ‘self-isolating’).
This is because it can take up to 14 days for coronavirus symptoms to appear.
Before you travel, you should provide your journey, contact details and the address where you will self-isolate. You will be able to complete the public health passenger locator form 48 hours before you arrive. You must present these details on your arrival in England.
You will need to do these things if you arrive on or after 8 June 2020. If you arrive before 8 June or have just arrived in the UK you should check the latest public health advice on coronavirus before you travel.
In England, if you do not self-isolate, you can be fined £1,000. If you do not provide an accurate contact detail declaration – or do not update your contact detail form in the limited circumstances where you need to move to another place to self-isolate – you can be fined up to £3,200.
As far as I can tell, these measures were first announced by Boris Johnson on May 10th, in a daily COVID-19 briefing:
And to prevent re-infection from abroad, I am serving notice that it will soon be the time – with transmission significantly lower – to impose quarantine on people coming into this country by air.
And it is because of your efforts to get the R down and the number of infections down here, that this measure will now be effective.
I'm not entirely clear on the rationale here - surely quarantine measures on incoming travellers would be effective no matter the current rate of infection (R number) or the number of infections. Is there any further explanation from the Government or SAGE on why this policy has only been implemented now that the first peak of the disease in the UK has subsided?