The UK government has announced its new rules for quarantining (or “self -isolating”) all those entering the UK, and these rules will apply equally to residents as well as visitors. As with much government policy relating to Covid-19, this is an unprecedented step for the UK government to take.
The new rules will take effect from 8th June and will mean that you will:
1. Need to provide your travel and contact details when you travel to the UK; and
2. Not be allowed to leave the place that you are staying in for the initial 14 days following arrival in the UK (other than limited exceptions).
Fines will be in place for those who fail to either provide the necessary details or who fail to self-isolate.
To provide your travel and contact details you will need to complete an online form prior to travel. The form is not yet available on the government website, but you should check if you are travelling to the UK on or after 8th June. Additionally, you should print a copy of your completed form and any receipt or acknowledgement webpage so that you can evidence to a border officer that you have submitted the required information.
If you are not a resident or citizen, then aside from a fine you may also be refused entry to the UK.
Upon arrival in the UK, you are required to go immediately to the place where you have stated that you will quarantine. The government recommends only using public transport if there is no other option and if you do use public transport, then you are recommended to wear a mask or other covering over your nose and mouth and maintain a 2 metre distance from other people if possible.
When you have arrived at your stated place of quarantine, you should remain there for 14 days and are only permitted to leave for one of the following reasons:
- Urgent medical treatment;
- Support from Social Services;
- To obtain food or medicine and cannot get these delivered;
- To attend the funeral of a close relative, or for other compassionate reasons;
- Some other emergency at the place you are staying - such as a fire.
Additionally, you are not permitted to have visitors to your place of quarantine (including no friends or family) unless they are providing essential care to you.
If your place of quarantine is a shared accommodation (for example if you are staying with friends or family) then you are recommended to avoid contact with them as much as possible and minimise use of shared areas in the property.
If your place of quarantine is a hotel or similar accommodation, you are not permitted to use shared areas such as bars, restaurants or other hotel facilities.
If you do not have a suitable place to quarantine, you must inform border officers on arrival and they will arrange accommodation (for which fees may be payable).
There are only limited exemptions currently for the above requirements to provide details and to self-isolate, and the primary exemption is for those individuals (of any nationality) who are travelling to the UK from Ireland, Channel Islands or Isle of Man. Aside from this, there is a very limited list of exemptions for certain vital workers coming to the UK.
There are no other exemptions and the above rules apply regardless of your nationality, purpose of visit or length of visit.