If you plan to visit the United Kingdom or are returning from abroad, there are specific rules, including a 14-day quarantine. Some countries on a government safe list are exempt from the quarantine, but before we get into who they are, lets first explain the rules.
No matter which country you are arriving from, including those where self-isolation is not required, you must complete a form available on the GOV.UK website. You must complete this form even if you have already done one for another country.
The form must be filled in online
The travel declaration on the GOV.UK website cannot be completed until 48 hours before you’re due to arrive in the UK. If you fail to complete the form before arriving at the border, it may delay your entry into the United Kingdom. The form cannot be printed and filled out by hand; it must be completed online. It is a free service, so you do not need to pay another website or business to submit it.
When you arrive at the UK border, you’ll need to show either:
- A printed copy of the document attached to your confirmation email
- The form attached to the confirmation email on your phone
When checking your passport, Border Force officers will use the QR code on the form to check and see if you have completed the document correctly. The information you provided on the form will then be used by the government to contact you, should someone you have traveled with develop coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms. If you are required to self-isolate, the information you provided will be used to check that you are adhering to the rules.
Failure to provide the correct information is punishable by a fine of £100; you may also not be allowed to enter the UK unless you are a British citizen or resident in the country. If you develop signs of having the coronavirus, do not travel! In the occurrence of symptoms appearing while traveling, tell a staff member so that authorities can be notified at your arrival point.
If you are traveling with someone under the age of 18, they do not need to fill out the form providing you:
- Will arrive and leave together
- Will stay at the same UK address
- Add their details into your form
You do not need to complete the form if you’re traveling from one of the following places, and you were there for more than 14 days:
- The Channel Islands
- The Isle of Man
You must provide an address
Before you complete the form, you will need to have the following information available:
- Your passport details
- The name of the airline, train, or ferry company you’re traveling with
- The name of the company organizing your tour group – if you’re traveling as part of a tour group
- Your booking reference
- The name of the airport, port, or station you’ll be arriving into
- The date you’ll be arriving
- Your flight, train, bus, or ferry number
- The address you’ll be staying at for your first 14 days in the UK
- Details of someone who can be contacted if you get sick while you’re in the UK
If you’re traveling by Eurostar or Eurotunnel, write Eurotunnel or Eurotunnel, where it says flight, train, or ship number, put your time of departure as well.
European countries exempt from quarantine
As of today, the following European countries are exempt from the UK quarantine rule:
- Faroe Islands
- Greece – except for Crete, Lesbos, Mykonos, Santorini, Serifos, Tinos, and Zakynthos
- San Marino
While Portugal is on the quarantine list, the Azores and Madeira are exempt.
Please make sure you check which rules might apply to you as the list is being updated continuously and can change at any moment.
Have you just returned from holiday and had to self-isolate? Did anyone call to check up on you? Please let us know how they are enforcing the quarantine rules in the comments.