Coronavirus: What are the new rules for travelling into the UK?

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Will I have to go into quarantine when I arrive?

From this week, anyone entering Britain who is not on the ‘exempt list’ will have to go into a mandatory 14-day quarantine at a confirmed address.

If you’re a resident or visitor travelling to the UK, you must provide your journey and contact details and not leave this location for 14 days except in very limited circumstances.

If you break the quarantine by leaving your home unlawfully you will face a fine of up to £1,000.

What do I need to do before I leave home?

Up to 48 hours before departing for Britain everyone must complete a Public Health Passenger Locator Form stating precisely where you are staying in Britain.

How thoroughly can the scheme be policed?

This is unclear.

With thousands expected to enter Britain in the coming weeks, it will be impossible to implement the rules. Furthermore, those arriving are not being given a temperature test and are allowed to use public transport.

Is anyone exempt from being forced into quarantine?

A long list of people exempted has been provided by the government. Diplomats, international representatives and others working in foreign assignments will not need to self-isolate if it is confirmed that your work is essential. You will not need to complete the Public Health passenger locator form.

However, if family members travel with you, they’ll need to self-isolate for 14 days.

Other exempt travellers include road haulage and freight workers, medical professionals, seasonal agricultural workers, Eurostar and Eurotunnel employees, pilots and aircrew and people working to maintain key infrastructure like the railway network and nuclear power.

What about workers in the energy sector?

Workers required for the continued safe and secure operation of offshore oil and gas, and nuclear power industry do not need to quarantine. But you will need to show a letter from your company at the border which includes personal details, employer’s contact information and nature of work. You will also have to complete the locator form.

How long are the quarantine rules expected to last?

With airline chiefs and others in the travel industry furious that the quarantine is being implemented just as the rest of Europe is opening up, it is possible that the government will reverse the rule by the end of the month. This would prove a bonus for the tourism industry just as the summer holidays begin.

Public Health Passenger Locator Form

Before anyone travels to Britain they have to complete a Public Health Passenger Locator Form that forms part of the UK’s new border rules concerning coronavirus.


The government will use the information to contact you if a passenger on your flight, ship or train tests positive for coronavirus.

The form requires fairly standard details such as passport information and the address where you will stay in Britain. It also asks for travel details, including times and dates.

The form cannot be submitted until 48 hours before your arrival time in Britain.

People who refuse to provide contact details face a £100 fine.


Workers sanitise area surrounding the Golden Temple, the holiest of Sikh places, in Amritsar, India. EPA

A member of staff wearing PPE cleans the handrail of Cecil Brewer staircase with disinfectant at the re-opened Heal's flagship store in central London. AFP

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern meets and talks to staff during the visit to Trevelyans Kiwifruit and Avocado Packhouse in Tauranga, New Zealand. Getty Images

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo greets workers cleaning inside a toy store in Grand Central Terminal on day one of New York City's first phase of reopening. Reuters

A woman stands next to a boarded store in New York City. AFP

Commuters arrive at Grand Central Station on metro during morning rush hour in New York City. AFP

Pupils at the Winnie Mandela Secondary School wait in line outside the school premises before classes resume in the Tembisa township, Ekurhuleni, South Africa. AFP

People maintain social distancing at a restaurant in Chennai, India. AFP

Argentine canoeist Sebastian Rossi trains for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in his girlfriend's pool in Buenos Aires. Reuters

Health personnel carry out a house-to-house search for positive cases of COVID-19 in the Fraga de Chacarita neighborhood, in Buenos Aires. EPA

Updated: June 9, 2020 03:09 PM

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