The UK Government has announced a mandatory 14 day quarantine for any individuals arriving into England. This new rule will go into effect on Monday, June 8th, 2020. The Home Secretary confirmed that the intention of the quarantine is to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 from imported cases, which are now seen as a more significant threat.
The current published rules apply to arrivals into England. Please note that Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland will publish their own separate regulations.
Upon arrival into England, each individual, regardless of nationality or visa status, will be asked to complete a "Passenger Locator Form" upon arrival. This form asks for contact details and details of the traveller's intended onward travel, including the address at which he or she will self-isolate. If the individual cannot provide an address, then he or she will be placed into accommodation chosen by the Government.
The individual must then travel to that location and self-isolate for 14 days. Only limited reasons for leaving the address are permitted - these include: seeking medical attention or shopping for food (but only where other options such as food deliveries are not possible). Such individuals will be subject to random checks to confirm they are abiding by the quarantine rules.
Any individual failing to remain in isolation will face a £1,000 fixed penalty, with further fines and prosecution possible for further breaches. Failure to complete the "Passenger Locator Form" could also result in a fine, or refusal of entry to non-residents.
There are a number of limited exemptions to the mandatory quarantine, which include the following:
- Arrivals from other parts of the UK and the common travel area (the Republic of Ireland, the Isle of Man, and the Channel Islands), as long as the traveller has been inside for common travel area for at least 14 days before arrival;
- Workers in critical infrastructure areas, including nuclear, rail, utilities and communication;
- Medical professionals working in the UK;
- Workers with specialist technical skills, where those specialist technical skills are required for essential or emergency works or services to ensure the continued production, supply, movement, manufacture, storage, or preservation of goods;
- Commuting workers - including UK residents who work outside of the common travel area and return home on a weekly basis, as well as workers who are based outside of the UK but enter for work every week.
The UK Government has confirmed that the initial quarantine will be in place for a 3 week period, with regular reviews and alternative options to quarantine, including 'international travel bridges' being explored.
Originally published Jun 5, 2020
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