October 27, 2021

Volume XI, Number 300

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England’s Current COVID-19 Quarantine Travel Entry Rules

The United Kingdom is operating a traffic light system for foreign travel, and what passengers must do upon arrival in England depends on where they have been in the 10 days before they arrive.

This article focuses on the guidance for England. Separate guidance applies to Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.

The quarantine rules differ depending on what list the country or territory that the passenger is travelling from is on—red, amber, or green. Note that the rules apply to vaccinated passengers as well.

Red List Countries

Only British citizens, Irish citizens, and those with UK residence rights are able to enter England if they have visited or transited through a red list country in the 10 days prior to arrival.

Passengers travelling from a red list country or territory must abide by the following requirements:

  • Passengers must take a COVID-19 test within the three days prior to departure to England and provide proof of a negative test result in order to travel. Passengers may be fined £500 if they arrive in England without proof of a negative test result.

  • Passengers must undergo 10 full days of quarantine in a government-managed hotel (arrival day in England does not count toward 10-day requirement). Before travelling to England, passengers must book and pay for a managed quarantine hotel within the 14 days prior to arrival. The booking includes passengers’ hotel stay, meals, transportation to and from the hotel, and two COVID-19 tests, which must be taken on the second and eighth days of the quarantine period. Passengers who have not booked a ‘quarantine package’ prior to arrival in England could ‘face a penalty of up to £4,000 and will still have to pay for [a] quarantine package on arrival’.

  • Passengers must arrive at an authorised airport. Currently, the only authorised airports are Heathrow Airport, Gatwick Airport, London City Airport, Birmingham Airport, Bristol Airport, Farnborough Airport, and Biggin Hill Airport, although ‘[o]ther ports of entry may be added in the future’. Passengers whose flights are due to arrive at a different airport must reschedule them to an authorised airport, or face a penalty of up to £10,000 and transportation costs to the nearest designated port of entry.

  • Passengers must submit an online ‘passenger locator form’ in the 48 hours prior to arriving in England. The form is intended to provide a passenger’s journey and contact details. Passengers will need to book and pay for a quarantine package before completing a passenger locator form, as the form requires details of where the passenger will quarantine once they arrive in England. The guidance stipulates that passengers ‘could be fined, imprisoned or both if [they] do not provide accurate details about the countries [they] have visited in the 10 days before [they] arrive in the UK’.

Amber List Countries

Before travelling to England from an amber list country or territory, passengers must:

  • take a COVID-19 test within the three days prior to departure (proof of a negative test result is required in order to be able to travel to England),

  • book and pay for two COVID-19 tests to be taken on the second and eighth days after arrival in England, and

  • complete an online passenger locator form.

Upon arrival in England, passengers must:

  • quarantine at home or in the place they are staying for 10 days;

  • take a COVID-19 test on the second and eighth days of the quarantine period, which passengers are required to schedule prior to departure as mentioned above (children aged four years old and under are not required to take these tests).

Green List Countries

Before travelling to England from a green list country or territory, passengers must:

  • take a COVID-19 test within the three days prior to departure (proof of a negative test result is required in order to be able to travel to England),

  • book and pay for a COVID-19 test to be taken on the second day after arrival in England, and

  • complete an online passenger locator form.

Passengers must take a COVID-19 test on the second day after they arrive in England, which they are required to book prior to departure as mentioned above. Passengers do not need to quarantine unless they receive a positive test result.

These lists are reviewed every three weeks and a country or territory can move between lists at short notice. Passengers may therefore want to review the guidance for updates before they travel.

© 2021, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 180
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About this Author

Ruhul Ayazi UK Litigation Lawyer Ogletree Deakins Law Firm
Of Counsel

Ruhul is an experienced litigation lawyer, having worked both in private practice in the City as well as in-house for local government. He has conducted many cases in the County and High Courts, some of which have attracted national media attention.

His experience of the wider litigation process means that he is able to manage disputes effectively and provide ‘strategic’ guidance that is sensitive to the commercial needs of a company. He has personally appeared many times before District and Circuit Judges (as well as Masters in the High Court) to present final and interim...

44 (0)20 7822 7625
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