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.

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  1. 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.

        • 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….

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

        • 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)

          • 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.

        • 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.

  2. 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:


      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.

        • 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.

  3. Now I think about it …. ‘private contractors’ have no legal right to enter your property. I am fairly sure ‘public health officials’ don’t either. (Even the police have no right without a warrant.) This makes you wonder how this can be enforced ….

    • Freddy says:

      Don’t need to enter the property to verify if Joe bloggs is having a 14-day siesta. If he isn’t willing to show his face at the front door then he should probably expect to recieve a fine

      • I can tell you didn’t go to law school.

        • Jonty says:

          Civil contingencies act allows public health officials to do stuff that would otherwise be completely in conflict with usual civil liberties

        • mvcvz says:

          I can tell he didn’t go to school.

      • Lady London says:

        if the ‘private contractors’ are anything like the ones used for parking enforcement then they will try every dirty trick in the book and will lie to earn bonuses and commission.

        Why is the UK doing so badly on this ? i thpught Italy was a disaster. How on earth can the UK be worse.

    • Chris Heyes says:

      [email protected] Border Force do have a legal right (which would include employees of Border Force with specific instructions) incidentally HM Tax also can plus Customs.
      Above can use force as well, more powers than Police
      But your right about Police (as long as you don’t open your door to them, same with debt collectors)

      • Complete rubbish and likely to result in your door being smashed in!

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Only if they have either a warrant or suspect a serious crime/emergency (cries for help etc) is taking place cause.

          Didn’t answer the bell and were under quarantine would not be just cause they also can’t search without permission or a warrant.

      • mvcvz says:

        What about Bob the builder and his cat (or was it someone else with a cat – Dick Whittington perhaps?)

    • The Police do have certain powers to enter private property, but they’re much more limited than customs and immigration. S17 PACE provides the Police this as well as Common Law (in the event of a breach of the peace), however I’m struggling to think how either could be applied in this circumstance. My knowledge of immigration law isn’t sufficient to understand what powers the UKBA/BF (or whatever they’re called now) have to enter premises. I see this as unenforceable without primary legislation.

      • Having just answered my own question, the Coronavirus Act 2020, Schedule 21, Ancillary powers, (20)(5) does give Constables power of entry.
        “A constable may enter any place for the purpose of the exercise of a power conferred by this Part of this Schedule.”
        However, it doesn’t seem to imply that health officials have that power of entry.

    • A common misunderstanding that British police need a warrant to enter property or arrest someone. There are powers of entry without a warrant under PACE which include arresting someone and to protect life and limb, which makes sense as you wouldn’t want to wait while a warrant was sworn out if you were lying unconscious on your kitchen floor after falling over and knocking yourself out.

      • jamie says:

        ‘British’ Police? PACE doesn’t apply in Scotland, where we have ‘Scottish’ Police

    • Its more complicated than that, the police do have powers of entry in certain circumstances. However I was told in a training course (many years ago) that customs officers had the most powers for entry and even arrest. Similarly, with grounds, even Environment Agency staff have entry powers. I’ll stretch this and suggest that local authority environmental health officers, on the grounds of public health, will have entry powers…..Googled it, yes they do, but for a residential property need to give 24 hrs notice. If they think they won’t still get entry then they can apply for a warrant in advance.

  4. Samuel says:

    These measures seem like a BNP policy. No foreigners anymore and all done for health. Tommy Robinson & co must be having a field day. How can business people do international business like that? No company is going to send an employee for two weeks into quarantaine.

    • mvcvz says:

      High time all this so-called business travel was properly reviewed by all organisations, public and provide. With current technology, at least 75% of it must be entirely unnecessary.

  5. Andrew says:

    Remember, by the very fact that we are all on this website means we make it our hobby to exploit loopholes – Iberia 90k Avios anyone? So we are in a bit of an echo chamber here. Most people won’t be looking at ways to avoid being caught for breaking quarantine – they will be looking for B&Bs in Cornwall.

  6. Richie says:

    Presumably you avoid the quarantine by getting a flight from wherever in the world to Dublin, then get a separate flight from Dublin back to London/Manchester / wherever – given it doesn’t apply to travel between Ireland and UK.
    All so stupid – if you’re going to do this, then do it 3 months ago!!

  7. So much garbage in the comments today, it’s enough to elevate some of @Shoestring’s rambling monologues to classical masterpieces.

    • Darren says:

      Strange times indeed

    • mr_jetlag says:

      Well, what I really want to know is whether Rob would be cashing in his Virgin miles and if I should do the same.

      • Chrish says:

        [email protected] Robs Saving his for a rainy day (whats the weather forecast) Not that i’m allowed to speak for him so probably you’ll never know lol

        • He’s stated as much here in the comments often enough. He has also explained that the transfer to Hilton doesn’t work for him well due to the difficulty of getting family rooms as standard reward nights while premium rewards for better rooms or suites don’t work because of poor value/point. Doing something just because Rob is doing it would hardly be a wise strategy as everybody has different circumstances? And Rob’s are likely far from typical.

  8. And now we have Cummings breaking the rules too, got to feel sorry for his parents though, they must be hugely disappointed.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      They obviously knew he was coming and going.

    • Oh Matron! says:

      To quote Alan Partridge: “Do you ever look at your child and think, ‘Oh my god, I have spawned a monster!'”

      The problem with the top 1% is that it’s an awfully small gene pool

  9. So the policy will be reviewed every three weeks? Any guesses how long it will hold? I actually do need to leave the UK at the end of next week (a long and personal story), and I’m not scheduled to be back until late July, but I really don’t like the idea of effectively not being able to get back home.

    My sense is that they would have to renew it at least once – possibly twice – not for any public health reasons (there are none), but to save face.

    • ankomonkey says:

      Interestingly, if they extend it once only (total 6 weeks) then it will finish on the weekend at the start of most English school summer holidays. Extending it one more 3-week period would allow someone to travel during those 3 weeks and complete quarantine before the schools are due back in September. A 4th 3-week period would prevent someone with school aged kids and following the rules from taking a trip for more than a week. The government’s decisions on quarantine extension will impact the ability for a lot of people to take a summer holiday this year. Obviously, this may be a major point in these decisions.

  10. It’s a farce and yet another example of how those in government don’t understand how things happen in the real world. It’s impossible to prove whether someone is in or out of their house unless you actually catch them outside, and even then it’s far from clear whether people will be allowed out to buy food (in which case, “I was on my way to the supermarket” should cover it). There is zero chance of anyone being tasked with watching to see if someone in quarantine leaves their house and then following them to see where they go. As far as enforcement goes, all the person will have to do is challenge the fine then offer as their defence in court, “I didn’t hear the doorbell because I was having a nap/in the shower/I’m actually deaf, your worships”.
    And to cap it all, you can spend quarantine in the same house as people who aren’t quarantining?!! Please can someone explain the science behind that 😂

    • mr_jetlag says:

      Let me be clear, we are entirely led by the Science, and the Science says, since its ok if my married girlfriend visits me in quarantine, then its ok if others who live with ppl in quarantine then visit their married girlfriends. QED.

  11. The simple solution is quarantine insurance. At £30 per person it would only need a small take up rate to cover the small chance of a fine, and in any case the exemptions (food, medical needs etc) should allow most people to avoid any possiblity of a fine at all. They say shouldn’t leave the house if possible, but if you need good then it’s not possible to stay home.

    The whole idea is ridiculous ie those people arriving on 7th June are fine and can go anywhere, but those arriving on 8th June are infectious and must quarantine (sort of!). It also appears to be unenforceable in terms of exemptions and scale. At 100 visits for the current 15,000 arrivals per day the risk is low. 24 million arrivals in the last three months and even we had half that in the next three, 9000 visits over the next three months (at 100 per day) on 12 million arrivals means there is almost no chance of being fined.

    Probably the most stupid idea of this ruinous lockdown.

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