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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)

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  • Scott says:

    The only way they could enforce this is by locking up everyone who enters the country in Government controlled detention centres or similar for 2 weeks.
    We’ve all seen that quite a few people ignore rules, and/or interpret them as they see fit.
    I wouldn’t trust anyone entering the country to abide by the rules 100%.

    Nothing to stop me on the drive home after arriving, making a number of stops for shopping, to see family and friends etc. before eventually going home. Could potentially infect half the country!

    Suppose they could check with your workplace if you’ve turned up there during those 2 weeks?

  • Anna says:

    As previously stated, IMO the government just hasn’t thought this through, and that’s why they haven’t implemented it immediately and keep kicking the can down the road about when they are going to release the full details. They know enforcement of lockdown has been a shambles and will want to avoid a repeat of that. They need to get all the agencies on side and singing from the same hymn sheet. There’s a massive disconnect between what they want to achieve and the extent of authorities’ ability to enforce anything in this country – the “Youman Rights” brigade would be up in arms if we tried the kind of tactics which have been so successful in places like Taiwan and South Korea, while at the same time lambasting the government for not doing enough, soon enough. I think that it will ultimately be unworkable.

    • Anna says:

      * As in, “It’s against my youman rights, innit?”

      • mradey says:

        I wouldn’t be so flippant with HMG requiring house arrest for 14 days. That isn’t the country I knew.

        • Anna says:

          Absolutely nothing flippant about it, everything I said was drawn from decades of professional experience. Also there’s no such thing as “house arrest” in this country.

    • GeorgeJ says:

      They dont need to rush with this as long as we are generating @60,000 new cases a week (findings from ONS survey data) and have an active infected population of @1.5-2 per thousand.. Even if arrivals have the same incidence as our own (high incidence) population the number coming in per week who will be positive almost makes no difference. It only makes a difference if our rate of infection falls and lots of people go off on holiday and bring it back. The announcement itself stops most of us planning holidays until we see what happens.
      Don’t be surprised to see the FCO restriction continue and the implementation of the ban extend out a bit further if the rate doesnt fall.

  • Andrew says:

    For the few people that decide to travel, probably most will generally stay home to do the right thing for the greater good. A few won’t and not much will happen to them if they don’t, but that’s the same as most laws – you aren’t supposed to deal drugs, doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen, but most people don’t do it.

  • J says:

    Surely this will be reciprocal and many countries will now ask UK citizens to quarantine for 2 weeks… Glad I have no desire or need to visit the UK anytime soon.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Yes and most likely you will see exemptions on a reciprocal basis.

      • Yawn says:

        God I hope so. I need to leave the country for work, and do hope to be able to come back by the end of July as planned.

  • Brian says:

    You say that the online form doesn’t HAVE to be filled out – according to the BBC, there is a £100 fine for failing to do so!

    • GeorgeJ says:

      More importantly the government release makes it clear that there is a GBP100 fine for not providing the form.
      Though there is a long list of exemptions from self isolation, there are very few for filling in details of where you will be staying.

  • Ian says:

    From what we know so far, this looks a right bloody mess. You should leave the airport if possible by car and if possible not go out to buy food etc. I imagine many people will not have a car available at the airport and, as for not going out to buy food, you’ll starve to death instead of dying of Covid? And how do you fill in an online form if you have no internet access? I would expect all these half-baked ideas to be “reviewed” before the implementation date.

    • J says:

      In countries with a strict quarantine someone else has to buy food for you – you literally cannot leave your apartment/hotel etc unless it’s a medical emergency or the building is on fire. I don’t think a strict quarantine in the UK is realistic – the police don’t have the resources or will to enforce it and since govt cronies can freely break the rules without any consequence (the govt now openly admitting Dominic Cummings is above the law) why should anyone else follow the rules?

      • CV3V says:

        probably just a coincidence, but Dominic’s mum, Morag, had her birthday in April.

        • Lady London says:

          Ahaaaaaaaaha !!! doubtless “just a coincidence”

        • Crafty says:

          It was on the date of the first trip.

          The second trip was his wife’s birthday.

  • CV3V says:

    2 eurostar trains per day also still arriving into St Pancras. France has just said they will ask UK arrivals to quarantine, the Telegraph describes it as ‘retaliation’.

    Wonder if there will be some sort of rush to get into the UK before the quarantine rules come in. In other countries they give little notice to prevent a rush occurring, which gives a different set of problems for people. Will be interesting to see if flights and Eurostar getting busier in advance.

    • J says:

      Who wants to go to the UK that badly right now? I would think it will mostly be UK residents or relatives of people with close ties to the UK who’d contemplate travelling there any time soon.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Right now it’s 1 in 1000 that have it. Your risk of catching it is tiny and the risk of dying depends on your personal health / age. The level of fear is disproportionate to the actual risk.

        There have obviously been lots of people still coming to the UK over the past two months when it had higher prevalence. That didn’t stop people entering for whatever reason they had.

      • CV3V says:

        Well regardless of the reasons for coming into the UK I hope that all the passengers arriving on the SU2582 from Moscow at 1600 hrs are wearing a face mask (but only if they want to), and get a car home (if they can).

  • Harry T says:

    Looks like NHS workers would be covered by the exemption list under point four:
    “ a registered health or care professional travelling to the UK to provide essential healthcare, including where this is not related to coronavirus”

    • Anna says:

      There’s loads – police, telecoms engineers, most of the professions already classed as “key workers”, in fact.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Good to know all of these exempt professions can’t bring Covid-19 in with them to spread the virus like those in other professions.

      • Anna says:

        To be fair, a lot of them are going to pose far less risk from having been on holiday than they do in their day to day jobs!

        • TGLoyalty says:

          But that’s not the point with all these exempt people it’s a farce.

          • Anna says:

            The whole thing is a farce, TG, as I have pointed out several times on this thread!

        • GeorgeJ says:

          Its nothing to do with holiday, they are allowed in without quarantine if they are doing their day jobs!

          • Anna says:

            Reason for travel isn’t mentioned, just reason for returning. There’s no way they could prove who’s been on holiday and who hasn’t.

      • Harry T says:

        It’s a good point, @TGLoyalty. I think the quarantine is a political move.

        @Anna is right – I stand a much greater chance of acquiring covid at the hospital than I would in France etc

        • Anna says:

          Well quite – though I am not having much success pointing out to my OH that he takes more of a risk at work every day than he would in a villa in the Med!

          • meta says:

            This is my personal favourite (last on the list):

            “a person who resides in the UK and who pursues an activity as an employed or self-employed person in another country to which they usually go at least once a week.”

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