Nearly a quarter of people returning to the UK from amber list countries failed to follow Covid-19 rules, according to new research.
A survey of 848 travellers who arrived in the country between July 12 and July 17 found that 23 per cent either did not self-isolate for 10 days or did not complete the necessary PCR tests on day two and day eight of their quarantine.
The study found that one in five (18 per cent) of respondents had contacts with someone who lived in a different household during their quarantine period.
Of these, 62 per cent had contact with others while outside their accommodation and 45 per cent had visitors to their accommodation.
The research was carried out by the by the Office for National Statistics (ONS)
And 15 per cent of people said they thought they were allowed to go to the shops while self-isolating.
Most UK residents returning from trips abroad found coronavirus restrictions difficult, while people living overseas said they understood the rules well, according to the ONS.
The data was collected before the requirement to self-isolate when returning from amber list countries was dropped for fully vaccinated people.
According to the current rules, only people who have not been vaccinated against Covid-19 or who have only received one dose of a coronavirus vaccine have to quarantine for 10 days when returning from a country on the travel amber list.
People who have to self-isolate must also take a pre-departure test, as well as a PCR test on day two and day eight of their quarantine.
Those who do not have to self-isolate need to take a test before leaving and another two days after arriving in the UK.
Every person travelling to the UK has to fill in a passenger locator form.
Reacting to the latest ONS data, Paul Charles, CEO of The PC Agency, told The Telegraph : “These figures prove that it is not a watertight system, as has been seen in Australia and Canada, where self-isolation has not worked.”
He also called for the measures to be “substantially diluted” when the next review of the traffic light system takes place on October 1.
He said: “Because people now feel more protected, we need to move back to normality.”
It comes as queue chaos at Heathrow Airport in London continued this weekend despite being branded “unacceptable”.
Passengers arriving at the transport hub yesterday reported facing “horrific” queues to get through to the Terminal 3 border area.
A photo posted on Twitter shows line of people packed into a hallway as well as a sign urging passengers to “have your passports ready”.
A passenger wrote: “Still horrific queues at Heathrow’s T3 this morning.
“It’s inhumane to force the disabled and children especially to stand for hours! Where’s the promised improvement?”
The Home Office admitted the massive queues at the airport’s Terminal 5, where a pregnant woman fainted on Friday night, were “unacceptable”.