These new UK quarantine rules will be enforced from June 8
The UK government has issued new rules for those arriving in England from abroad. Here’s what you need to know. When will the rules begin?
From Monday, June 8, travellers arriving in England will be required to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival, as part of measures in place to reduce the spread of coronavirus. Those who ignore the new laws risk being fined, prosecuted and even deported if they do not comply. Legislation for Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales are still to be drawn up, but here’s how the rules will work in England.
What will I have to do on arrival in England? Travellers to England are expected to fill out a form online on gov.uk up to 48 hours in advance of travel, providing contact information, travel details and an address of where they plan to self-isolate once they arrive in the country. What if I don’t fill out the required documents?
Most travellers will be expected to fill out the form in advance but facilities will be provided at the border for those who have been unable to do so. For anyone who has not filled out the form, they will be given one last opportunity as they arrive to do so. Failure to do that will result in an offence and they could be issued with a fine.
Officials will expect airlines and other carriers to check whether people have filled out forms in advance but they will not be required to turn people away from travelling if that has not happened. The offence will occur when someone has arrived in the UK and failed to fill out the form. Personal details cannot be used for any reason other than in conjunction with these laws.
The law also appears to suggest information provided by passengers cannot be used in criminal proceedings against them unless they relate to breaches of the quarantine regulations. Can I take public transport to my accomodation? Travellers are urged to use cars or other forms of private transport to travel from the airport when they arrive in the UK but if they must use public transport, they are advised to take the most direct route possible to their accommodation and follow guidance such as wearing face masks.
Where can I quarantine? UK travellers can go back to their home and self-isolate there. But people can also isolate in the home of a friend or relative, a hotel, hostel, bed and breakfast, or “other suitable” accommodation.
More than one address can be provided if a “legal obligation” requires a person to change addresses, or it is necessary for them to stay overnight on their arrival in England before “travelling directly to another address at which they will be self-isolating”. Anyone who cannot provide a suitable address will be provided accommodation by the Government, like a hotel. Friends and family will not need to isolate with the people who have arrived, unless they have also travelled.
But they should avoid contact with anyone they are staying with and minimise time spent in shared areas and use separate bathrooms if possible. What punishment could I face? You could be fined GBP100 for not filling out the form, doubling for each offence up to a maximum of GBP3,200.
Breaching the self-isolation stipulation would result in a GBP1,000 fine and could lead to prosecution and then a potentially unlimited fine. Travellers could even be deported, but authorities in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will decide separately on immigration policy for this. Who is exempt from the rules?
A list of exemptions has been published, including road haulage and freight workers; medical professionals travelling to help the coronavirus effort; anyone moving from within the common travel area covering Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man; and seasonal agricultural workers who will self-isolate on the property where they are working.
How long will these rules be in place?
The rules will be reviewed every three weeks, so will be in place until at least June 29 but could last as long as a year, when the legislation expires.