As of today, and further to our blog posted on 5 June 2020, if you are travelling to the UK you may be required to self-isolate at the place that you will be staying for 14 days.
Self-isolation means that you are not allowed to leave the place where you are staying, that you should not have visitors (unless they are providing essential care) and that you are only able to leave your accommodation in limited circumstances. For further information on self-isolating at your accommodation and how to travel to your place of stay in the UK, please see the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-how-to-self-isolate-when-you-travel-to-the-uk/coronavirus-covid-19-how-to-self-isolate-when-you-travel-to-the-uk#how-to-self-isolate-in-your-accommodation
Who must self-isolate?
This new policy applies to all UK residents and visitors who are either returning or coming to the UK.
If you are entering the UK from within the Common Travel Area “CTA” i.e. (the UK, the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man) you will not need to self-isolate for 14 days, unless you arrive in the UK and have been outside the CTA within the last 14 days. If this is the case, then you will need to self-isolate for the remainder of the 14 day period, starting from when you arrived in the CTA.
If you intend to stay in the UK for less than 14 days, you will be required to self-isolate for the length of your stay.
Is there a procedure to follow in order to enter the UK and prove that you will be following the self-isolation guidelines?
You will be required to complete the public health passenger locator form. You will be able to complete the form up to 48 hours before you travel to the UK.
When completing the form, you will be required to provide the following:
- Details of your journey;
- Your contact details; and
- The full address of where you will be staying.
You will also need the following to successfully complete the form:
- Your passport details;
- The name of the airline, train or ferry company you are travelling with (if you are travelling with Eurostar, you will be required to state Eurostar/Eurotunnel instead of flight number and the scheduled time of departure);
- The name of the company organising your tour group (if you are travelling as part of a tour group);
- Your booking reference;
- The name of the airport, port or station you will be arriving at;
- The date you will be arriving;
- Your flight, train, bus or ferry number; and
- Details of someone who can be contacted if you become ill while you are in the UK.
If you are travelling with other people, each of you must complete a separate form If they are under 18 years old, they will not be required to complete a form if you:
- Will arrive and leave together;
- Will stay at the same UK address; and
- Add their details to your form.
The government will use the above information to contact you if you or someone you have travelled with develops COVID-19 symptoms and to check if you are self-isolating for the first 14 days after you arrive in the UK.
Are there exemptions to self-isolating upon arrival in the UK?
There are some exemptions for certain individuals who will not be required to self-isolate as of 8 June 2020, inclusive of those who enter the UK from the CTA as above.
Those exempt include, diplomats and key workers who work rail, air, ferry and agriculture. Those who reside in one country and work in another but are able to prove that they commute between the two at least once a week will also be exempt.
Those who are exempt will be required to provide documentary evidence at the border to prove that they should be exempt from self-isolating. For a full list of exemptions and examples of documentary evidence, please see: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-travellers-exempt-from-uk-border-rules/coronavirus-covid-19-travellers-exempt-from-uk-border-rules
What are the consequences if you do not comply with self-isolating in the UK?
You could be fined up to £3,200 if you refuse to provide your contact details or more if your beak the rules more than once. You may also be refused entry to the UK, unless you are British or UK resident.
If you are planning to visit the UK for a temporary stay, or if you are a returning migrant with a long-term visa, please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any queries regarding the conditions attached to your leave and how these may be impacted by the UK’s COVID-19 policies.
Please note that the information in this blog is current at the date and time of posting. The situation regarding policy and guidance based on the COVID-19 pandemic is subject to change at short notice. We shall be monitoring all aspects of UK immigration which may be impacted by the coronavirus closely, so please do keep updated with further blogs and articles which we will be posting on this site.
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.
Consultant and trainee solicitor in our Corporate Team