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How will the 14-day UK travel quarantine work?

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The Government has announced details of its travel quarantine arrangements this afternoon.

As had been trailed, virtually all arrivals into the UK will need to enter into quarantine for 14 days on arrival.  For non-UK citizens / residents, Border Force will be allowed to refuse entry if they believe that the visitor will not abide by these arrangements.

The exact details will not be known until full written Government guidance is published.  This is what was announced:

When does the new quarantine system begin?

8th June

Who is covered by the quarantine ruling?

Everyone entering the United Kingdom from anywhere except Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Ireland, except for freight drivers, doctors and scientists entering for coronavirus-related work and fruit pickers.

How does it work?

Arrivals will need to have filled in an ‘online contact locator’ form before arriving in the country.  It will not be a Government requirement to have completed the form but airlines may at their discretion refuse to carry passengers who have not done so.  This will be used for quarantine enforcement and for contacting travellers if any fellow passengers on their flight, boat or train falls ill.

Arrivals must leave the port or airport by car, wherever possible, and head to a location where they will quarantine for 14 days.  Travellers should not receive visitors and should not leave their quarantine to buy food or other supplies if possible.

Hotel accommodation will be provided for arrivals who do not have accommodation arranged.

Other people who are staying in the same house as someone who is quarantining do not have to enter quarantine.

What is the fine for breaking quarantine?

The police will not be directly involved in enforcing quarantine.

Public health officials and ‘private contractors’ will be responsible for visiting arriving travellers.  (It is unclear how this will work as I doubt either of these groups has the legal right to enter your property.)  In theory, these contractors will supply the police with details of those who were not at their stated address so that the police can issue a fixed penalty of £1,000.  Other parts of the UK can set their own arrangements.

When will these measure be reviewed?

The measures will be reviewed every three weeks.

The official guidance should be available on this page of the Government website very soon.

Comments (245)

  • Andrew says:

    But the point is that most people don’t analyse the life out of things to find loopholes – most “British families” as the government likes to call them will see this as a rule they must and should follow for the greater good. And therefore won’t be booking a summer holiday and therefore the airlines will be scheduling few flights over the summer. And that’s what the government want, for us to not travel and for people not to come here from abroad. And whilst some will travel and some of them will break the rules as they are unenforceable, most will, just as most have with all the other lockdown regulations, follow the rules, that’s just human nature.

  • Liam says:

    Clearly this is such an important step that not only has it taken this long to become UK policy, it still won’t be implemented for another couple of weeks, and once it is in place much of the enforcement will be farmed out the private sector. If anyone landing in the UK could get a test and only had to quarantine until a negative result was returned to them (positive cases would remain in quarantine), then it would be better, but god knows what’s needed to achieve that kind of setup in Britain.

    • CV3V says:

      the answer to your question is it requires a competent government who are; not scared of upsetting the public, aren’t just concerned with getting to the end of a daily press conference without mucking up reading from their script, it requires a prime minister to take lead (currently he only shows up for PMQs, which hasn’t gone well). The blame game has already started in Westminster.

    • Lady London says:

      saw a report today that someone did the 14 day quarantine in Australia, came through it clean then tested positive on Day 16. Bit worrying as the Australians bus incomers to government-chosen hotels for their quarantine and the person does not go out of their room apparently

  • Simon Schus says:

    I’ve got a niche situation which isn’t really dealt with in this 14-day UK policy (or at least seems odd). I wanted to share as it is a bit niche. I’m visiting a second home in the UK for a period shorter than the quarantine.

    I’m a UK Citizen who lives in the USA.. and I like to visit the UK for a few days at a time: 3 days, 2 days, 4 days… just for the weekend. I’ve got a place I can quarantine easily – a second home – and that was actually my plan for my next trip. My plan was to go from the airport to y place of quarantine, then stay in that place for 3 days – and then head back to the airport. I’d have had no need to leave the house, other than to go to/from the airport! (I’d love to have gone out to the pubs but I’m quite fine staying ‘home’ – and I’d have no need to go out to the supermarket etc). I’m not going to be in the exemptions list of critical workers so this eaves me in a predicament: I presume that I would be breaking the rules if I travelled back to the airport to head ‘home’ after Day 3… rather than after Day 14. If I got a call on Day 5, Day 8, Day 10… I’d be breaking my quarantine as I’d have left the UK! So either cancel my trip, wait to see if the rules change, or break the rules. I’m not going to break the rules!

    I’ll keep looking at the guidance when it is published in more detail – to see if there is anything pertaining this this type of circumstance, but I doubt it.

    • Dominic Barrington says:

      I imagine that this is just deemed non-essential and you are ‘told’ not to do it…

  • Norman Peters says:

    What about transit passengers though LHR…
    If you are on a through fare ticket does that mean you now have to remain in the UK for 14 days?, and then be subject to a change fee and also taxes payable for the continued journey?

    Also, what about people who have to travel for business more than once a fortnight ?

    Really wonder if this has been thought through ?

  • Chris says:

    And what possible reason is there for this not beginning for another 2 weeks? (When it should have begun 2 months ago?)

    Far too little, far too late.

    The UK has watched fellow island nations like New Zealand and Australia quickly and successfully deal with the virus through strict lockdowns, mandatory hotel quarantines applied quickly and consistently. Pubs in Australia are reopening this weekend because the virus has been eradicated.
    Meanwhile we have the highest number of active cases and deaths of any country in Europe. But by all means, don’t wait to do anything about it. Another 2 weeks before implementing a qaurantine is a great idea.

    • sayling says:

      One thing?

      The R number – and it’s direction

      Two months ago, how many people were being allowed to fly anywhere?

      • CV3V says:

        In answer to you’re last question it was 15,000 passengers per day flying into UK without checks. From New York, China etc. Those same countries had movement controls and quarantines in place.

    • Lady London says:

      Yup we threw it away. As an island nation we had every chance of avoiding this. I really, really do not know why the government didn’t just stop landings. Or at least enforce quaratine. Was Boris frightened Donald might get upset if planeloads of New Yorkers were told to stop coming in for a while? The US has blocked us…

      Are they still hoping for herd immunity? still not proven there is any, yet.

      i really have no idea what the government has been doing that has wasted so much time, caused people to die unnecessarily and is prolonging economic damage.

  • Bagoly says:

    “Other people who are staying in the same house as someone who is quarantining do not have to enter quarantine.”
    That is the rule in HK (https://www.coronavirus.gov.hk/images/health_advice_travellers_compulsory_quarantine_period_en.jpg), and I think sourced from WHO guidance.
    But Poland realised it was rather ridiculous, and changed it two weeks after the initial lockdown so that if you are quarantining then the whole household must quarantine.

  • Optimus Prime says:

    When they scan a non-UK passport, do they know if you’re actually a resident?

    • ankomonkey says:

      Non-EU passports get stamped in and out like in the olden days when everyone had it done. Even when they travel between UK-EU. I suspect Border Control may have info on stamp dates on their screens, so I guess they can assess ‘residence’. For EU passports, I don’t know.

      • Optimus Prime says:

        I’m looking forward to read in the news ‘genuine mistake by Border Control Officer who denied entry to an EU passport holder who’s been living and paying taxes in UK for decades…

        • bazza says:

          bit weird?

          • Optimus Prime says:

            Weird? If Priti Patel is the Home Secretary anything can happen at the Border Control.

        • John says:

          If they live in the UK they should have an address which they can provide. Even if it is a houseshare with 20 other shift workers who take it in turns to use the beds….

      • Liam says:

        Don’t they let a number of nationalities through the e-gates these days?

        • Riku says:

          UK passport holders can use the e-gates also, so e-gate eligibility does not tell you anything about residency. I have a UK passport but left the UK 20 years ago. How would they differentiate me from a UK passport holder UK resident (and I got my passport from the office in Liverpool – it’s not about where the passport is issued)

          • John says:

            Their point was that Americans and Canadians, etc. can use the e-gates without needing to speak to a human officer (maybe this has temporarily changed).

            As a British citizen, you can’t be refused entry to the UK, so it is irrelevant whether you are a tourist or resident in the UK.

        • abc says:

          Because of COVID-19, non-UK/EEA citizens can’t use e-gates at the moment.

      • Waterguard says:

        The statement that non eu passengers get stamped in is incorrect.

        In recent history a number of countries, such as US, Japan, South Korea etc no longer need to queue in non eu, in fact they can use e-gates, and they dont get their passports stamped.

        • ankomonkey says:

          Do you have a source for this? My wife is Japanese and we have never seen or been made aware of her ability to use e-gates.

      • Lost+confused says:

        Non EU passports are stamped on the way in but not stamped on the way out. Of course to be a resident you would need a residence permit and so would be expected to show your Biometric Residence Permit card on entry.

  • mutley says:

    Johnson Missed FIVE COBRA meetings in Feb/ early March where the scientists were warning of the dangers of Covid 19. He was loafing in Chevening, since then….

    Lockdown at least two weeks too late
    Lost the email re EU PPE (allegedly)
    Cock ups re testing that doesn’t work, and double counting
    Delays in Testing
    NHS staff sourcing their own PPE
    Patients sent back to Care Homes with no test
    Officially 36000 Deaths (ONS says a lot more)
    Second highest number of infections in EU
    Third highest (just) deaths per million of population in EU
    A PM hiding and desperate to avoid scrutiny (we were following the science)
    and now quarantine, weeks and weeks too late.

    But don’t worry guys, we have good old British common sense.

    • ankomonkey says:

      +1

      Everything done a few weeks later than it should have been. If I didn’t know better, I’d think Johnson is working for Labour to ensure the Tories don’t get re-elected for decades.

      • Richard G says:

        ….and in the case of easing the lockdown / opening the schools, arguably two weeks earlier than it should have been.

        • CV3V says:

          Correct, those countries that locked down early can now start to reopen. Going into lockdown late means we need to stay locked down until later, but as Europe and world reopens it doesn’t play well in UK. Now we are lifting lockdown early, another 300 deaths and thousands more infected yesterday.

    • bazza says:

      Remainers STILL hurting!!! haha!

    • Andrew says:

      And after all that we look at Corbyn’s brother being arrested at a 5G protest, and the Labour Party’s hatred for the many Jewish Drs and medics who are working tirelessly in our beloved NHS and can count ourselves lucky that Labour didn’t get in.