UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed on Monday that the United Kingdom is considering changes to its self-isolation requirements for inbound international travelers, including a possible mandatory hotel quarantine period for those entering the UK.

The country currently requires travelers to have tested negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours before their travel and to fill out a passenger locator form that includes where they will be staying. Once in the UK, travelers must quarantine for ten days, unless they show a negative test five days after being in the UK. With certain, limited exceptions, travelers must isolate in one location, and it must be the location listed on their passenger locator form. Slightly different rules apply in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

If imposed, the new restrictions could last six to eight weeks. The precise parameters of the hotel quarantine requirement (and who will foot the bill) remain undefined, but the restrictions would likely be based on the successes achieved in other countries. For instance, the UK has looked to Australia's hotel quarantine requirement in light of its success in controlling COVID spread. Australia at present requires a fourteen-day hotel quarantine, in addition to other requirements. During that time, travelers must stay in their rooms and cannot have visitors.

In addition to a hotel quarantine period, some in the UK have contemplated the idea of using an app to track the location of incoming travelers and ensure compliance with quarantine requirements. The UK could also consider discontinuing allowing travelers to test out of quarantine after five days or banning all incoming flights. The UK has already banned flights from twenty-nine countries.

New Zealand, Taiwan, Cambodia, the Philippines, South Korea, Anguilla, Guam, Lebanon, Qatar, Barbados, Saba, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines all have some version of a hotel quarantine requirement. Canada is also considering imposing a hotel quarantine. Israel ended its hotel quarantine requirement in late December after significant public pushback, although hotel quarantine will still be required for those refusing to take a COVID-19 test.

These new rules are an effort to keep out a fast-moving new variant of the coronavirus. For the most up to date information, please watch the Global Travel Navigator tool and follow our blog, The Mobile Workforce, for additional information.

Visit us at

Mayer Brown is a global legal services provider comprising legal practices that are separate entities (the "Mayer Brown Practices"). The Mayer Brown Practices are: Mayer Brown LLP and Mayer Brown Europe - Brussels LLP, both limited liability partnerships established in Illinois USA; Mayer Brown International LLP, a limited liability partnership incorporated in England and Wales (authorized and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and registered in England and Wales number OC 303359); Mayer Brown, a SELAS established in France; Mayer Brown JSM, a Hong Kong partnership and its associated entities in Asia; and Tauil & Chequer Advogados, a Brazilian law partnership with which Mayer Brown is associated. "Mayer Brown" and the Mayer Brown logo are the trademarks of the Mayer Brown Practices in their respective jurisdictions.

© Copyright 2020. The Mayer Brown Practices. All rights reserved.

This Mayer Brown article provides information and comments on legal issues and developments of interest. The foregoing is not a comprehensive treatment of the subject matter covered and is not intended to provide legal advice. Readers should seek specific legal advice before taking any action with respect to the matters discussed herein.