The UK's new quarantine rules come into effect from today - here's how they work
The UK's new quarantine rules for incoming travellers come into force today (8 June), with arrivals into the country now having to undergo a mandatory 14-day period of self-isolation.
The measure is being introduced to prevent new infections from imported cases.
Travellers must fill in a form with their contact information and the address of their accommodation, which health officials will use to perform spot checks to ensure compliance.
The measures apply not just to those arriving by air travel, but by other means of transport such as ferry.
Here's everything you need to know:
How does it all work?
If you arrive in the UK from 8 June onwards, you must complete a 'Public Health passenger locator form' before you travel.
You cannot submit the form until 48 hours before you’re due to arrive in the UK.
You’ll need to show your completed form when you arrive at the UK border, either by printing a copy, or showing it on your phone.
Once in the UK, you'll need to go straight to the place you’re staying, only using public transport if you have no other option.
If you do have to use public transport, you will have wear something that covers your nose and mouth, and stay 2 metres apart from other people.
Once you have arrived at your declared address, you must self-isolate there for 14 days, where you can have food and other necessities delivered.
You should not have visitors, including friends and family, unless they are providing essential care.
The only friends and family who you can have contact with are those who travelled with you or people who you are staying with.
You cannot go out to work or school or visit public areas. You should not go shopping. If you require help buying groceries, other shopping or picking up medication, you should ask friends or relatives or order a delivery.
You must only exercise within your home or garden. You cannot leave your home to walk your dog.
For more information on the new measures, head to the Government's website
What are the punishments for not following the rules?
Once the rules come into place you may be fined £100 if you refuse to provide your contact details in England (or £60 in Northern Ireland and Scotland).
You may be fined more if you break this rule more than once.
You may be also fined £1,000 if you refuse to self-isolate in England or Northern Ireland (£480 in Scotland), or you could face further action.
In Scotland, persistent offenders can be reported to the procurator fiscal for potential prosecution and a maximum £5,000 fine.
Is anybody exempt from the new rules?
You do not need to complete the form or self-isolate if you’re travelling from one of the following places, and you were there for 14 days or more:
- the Channel Islands
- the Isle of Man
If you spent less than 14 days in any of the above place, you will still need to complete the form and self-isolate for 14 days.
There are other exceptions to the rules too:
- Members of diplomatic missions and consular posts in the UK
- Officers, servants or representatives of international organisations
- Representatives at an international or UK conference granted privileges and immunities
If you fall into the above categories, you do not need to complete a Public Health passenger locator form.
But if family members or other dependents travel with you, they will still need to self-isolate for 14 days after they arrive.
For more information on those exempt from the new quarantine measures, head to the Government's website
Is it currently safe to travel?
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) currently advises British people against all non-essential travel worldwide.
This advice took effect on 17 March, and while it initially applied for a period of 30 days, the travel ban is now listed as “indefinite”.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has led to unprecedented international border closures and other restrictions,” said the FCO. “All countries may restrict travel without notice.”
That indefinite ruling remains in place, even as other countries begin to relax their measures; there's no telling how things will play out.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps recently said he would certainly not be booking a summer holiday at present.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme in April, Mr Shapps said that "clearly people will want to see what the trajectory of this disease is in the next few weeks".
"I won't be booking a summer holiday at this point, let's put it that way."
For more information on travelling abroad, head to the Government's website