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14 Day Quarantine Terms Announced for UK International Arrivals

Details have been confirmed for those who are eligible to avoid the 14 day quarantine, as well as fines for those who don’t follow the new rules

Published on June 3, 2020

The UK Government has revealed information on the newly imposed 14 day self isolation quarantine rules for international arrivals to the UK, due to come into force on Monday June 8, 2020. We've compiled some of the important points to take home that could be relevant to Americans traveling to the UK:

Most Americans arriving in the UK will need to self isolate for 14 days

As per the announcement by UK Home Secretary Priti Patel last week, most international travelers arriving in the UK will need to comply with the Government's 14 day quarantine rules. For those that are affected, you'll be required to complete an online locator form with your contact details, travel details, and the address of where you will self isolate for 14 days. Public Health England will be contacting individuals at random who should be self isolation to ensure compliance.

The Government announced that "anyone failing to comply with the mandatory conditions may face enforcement action. A breach of self-isolation would be punishable with a £1,000 fixed penalty notice in England or potential prosecution and unlimited fine", whilst devolved Governments in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales will set their own enforcement measures. The Government also confirmed that "Removal from the country would be considered as a last resort for foreign nationals who refuse to comply with these public health measures".

As part of these new rules, Border Forces will also be able to refuse entry to the UK for anyone who "refuses to comply with these regulations and isn’t resident in the UK. Failure to complete the form is also punishable by a £100 fixed penalty notice".

Traveling via Ireland

A common flight plan between the US and UK involves stopovers in the Republic of Ireland. Airlines including Aer Lingus continue to offer such routes, often at prices much lower than direct flights. However, the Government has confirmed that although those traveling from the 'Common Travel Area' (Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and the UK) won't need to self isolate, there will be checks in place. The Government say, for example, that "If you are arriving from within the Common Travel Area (CTA) and have been in the CTA for the last 14 days before entering the UK, you will not need to provide your journey or contact details, or self-isolate for 14 days. If you are arriving from another part of the CTA and entered the CTA within the last 14 days, you’ll need to provide your journey and contact details. You’ll only have to self-isolate until you have spent a total of 14 days in the CTA."

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, and their families or dependents

For Americans arriving in the UK for diplomatic or official reasons, as detailed above, the Government say "You will not need to provide your journey or contact details" and that "You will not need to self-isolate for 14 days if it is confirmed that your work is essential to the functioning of the mission, international organisation or conference and that it cannot be undertaken whilst self-isolating."

However, the Government has confirmed that "If your family members or other dependents travel with you, they’ll need to self-isolate for 14 days after they arrive in the UK."

The Government also notes that "Before you travel, your mission, international organisation or conference will need to notify the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) or Protocol Directorate who will issue an exemption letter to show at the border."

Defence personnel, visiting forces and government contractors who the Ministry of Defence has confirmed are required to deliver essential defence activities

The Government say that "You will not need to provide your journey or contact details or self-isolate for 14 days", but that "You’ll need to request a letter from the Ministry of Defence confirming you are exempt. You’ll need to show this letter to officials at border control on entry to the UK."

People who live in the UK but work in another country and travel between the UK and country of work at least once a week

If you live in the UK but work in another country once a week, you won't need to self isolate for 14 days, however you will "need to provide your journey and contact detail", and you will "need to show evidence that you reside in one country but work in the other and you should also be able to demonstrate that you travel between the two on a minimum of a weekly basis, for example, a season ticket."

People who live outside the UK but work in the UK and travel between their country of residence and the UK at least once a week

As above, you won't need to self isolate for 14 days, however you will "need to provide your journey and contact detail", and you will "need to show evidence that you reside in one country but work in the other and you should also be able to demonstrate that you travel between the two on a minimum of a weekly basis, for example, a season ticket."

Other technical and key workers

The detailed guidance from the UK Government outlines a number of specific types of workers who will be exempt from the 14 day rules. You can find out more details on what you need to do at the border if you are exempt by going to https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-travellers-exempt-from-uk-border-rules/coronavirus-covid-19-travellers-exempt-from-uk-border-rules

For full information on the 14 day self isolation rules, enforcement action and exemptions, go to https://www.gov.uk/entering-staying-uk/border-control

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