Passengers arriving in the UK must fill in a Passenger Locator Form before entering the UK (https://www.gov.uk/provide-journey-contact-details-before-travel-uk).
Those passengers who are not UK/Irish nationals or have residence rights in the UK and have travelled to a country on the “Red List” in the past 10 days are banned from entering the UK. If you have visited a “Red List” country in the past 10 days, this must be declared on the Passenger Locator Form in the relevant part of the form (see example below) before arriving in the UK.
It is important to note that it is a criminal offence to conceal, hide or fail to disclose travel to a “Red List” country in the past 10 days, or to include misleading or deceptive information in the Passenger Locator Form.
The offence is punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment, as recently announced by Health Secretary Matt Hancock. For non-British nationals, this could have serious consequences for their immigration status in the UK.
If convicted and sentenced to a period of imprisonment of 12 months or more, a foreign national may be subject to automatic deportation under Section 32 of the UK Borders Act 2007. Even where the sentence is more lenient, for example a non-custodial sentence, this could fall under Part 9 of the Immigration Rules, which provides for grounds for refusal and which are applicable to many immigration routes. This could lead to you being refused visas for the UK (and most other countries) and could cause your current visa to be cancelled. Furthermore, it could also affect your ability to extend your current stay, to apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK or to naturalize as a British citizen.
You must be truthful on your Passenger Locator Form. If you need to return to the UK urgently for immigration reasons, for example if your current leave is expiring, your entry 90-day clearance vignette will soon expire or you have excessive absences which may cause you to become ineligible for settlement, there may be relevant COVID-19 concessions available to you depending on your circumstances. If you require advice or assistance within any of the above, please do not hesitate to contact us.
The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.