THE Government has “failed to understand” the impact the 14-day quarantine rule will have on returning Brits, a former Basildon MP says.

Baroness Angela Smith, Labour leader in the Lords, sounded the warning yesterday.

Lady Smith, who served as Basildon’s MP from 1997 to 2010, said: “The Government has failed to understand the practicalities and the financial impact of self-isolation.

“In the letter sent out by the minister there was only guidance for office workers if they were being forced to go back to work - saying it was ‘encouraging employers to be understanding’ and later added that staff ‘could go to ACAS’.

“It’s just not acceptable - and it’s also totally irresponsible. She and I are working from home today, but for millions of people, usually in the lowest paid jobs, that just isn’t possible.

“Even if employers are understanding, landlords and others may not be. Pricing people out of self-isolation is dangerous - for all of us.

“So will she report back on what action ministers are taking to provide financial support, including statutory sick pay, for those the Government says must self-isolate?”

Transport minister Baroness Vere responded: “The Government has been absolutely clear that there is urgent support available for those who need it.”

She told peers the travel corridor had to be removed from Spain after the infection rate “increased at an alarming rate”.