Coronavirus (COVID-19)—Entrants to the UK required to self-isolate from 8 June

Coronavirus (COVID-19)—Entrants to the UK required to self-isolate from 8 June

The Home Secretary has introduced new measures for individuals entering the UK to minimise the risk of a second wave of coronavirus (COVID-19) infections. These measures will apply to both visitors and UK residents from 8 June 2020. Individuals will be required to provide their journey, contact and accommodation details when travelling to the UK. They must also self-isolate at their place of residence for the first 14 days (unless limited exceptions apply to them).

The Home Office has published three publications on the new measures: a guidance webpage, a news story and a list of exemptions from UK border rules. These measures will be subject to review every three weeks.

Providing journey, contact and accommodation details

Individuals must, upon arrival to the UK, complete an online 'contact locator' form providing their journey and contact details. They must also provide details of their accommodation in the UK. This form is not yet available and will be uploaded to the guidance webpage in due course.

Individuals may be required to evidence that they have completed this form when they arrive in the UK. Border Force officers will carry out spot checks and may refuse entry to non-British citizens who are not resident in the UK and refuse to comply with the regulations. Non-compliance may result in a fine of £100 by way of a fixed penalty notice.

Self-isolate for the first 14 days in the UK

Individuals will be required to go straight to their place of residence and self-isolate for the first 14 days. Friends or family may collect someone when they arrive. Public transport should only be used if there is no other option. If public transport is used, a facial covering (that covers both the nose and mouth) must be worn and social distancing measures should be maintained. Those who cannot safely isolate at their place of residence must inform Border Force upon entry to the UK. The guidance webpage states that Border Force officers will 'give you a choice of accommodation to stay at'.

Individuals must not leave their place of residence during the 14-day period, unless it is for:

• urgent medical treatment

• support from social services

• food and/or medicine (which cannot be delivered)

• attending a funeral of a close relative, or for other compassionate reasons

• an emergency (eg fire at their place of residence)

The guidance also repeats the general guidance for those self-isolating, such as:

• visitors, including friends and family, are not permitted unless they are in the same household or providing essential care

• avoid contact with other members of the household and minimise time spent in shared areas

• shared areas in hotels and guesthouses (such as bars or gyms) cannot be used. Social distancing must be maintained between staff and other guests

Public health authorities may contact individuals to check if they are complying with these conditions, or if the individual (or someone they were travelling with) develops coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms. ​Non-compliance with this requirement may result in a fine of £1,000 by way of a fixed penalty notice or potential prosecution and unlimited fine. The level of fine may increase if the risk of infection from abroad also increases. The news story states that removal from the UK 'would be considered as a last resort for foreign nationals who refuse to comply with these public health measures'.

Exemptions

Those who will not be subject to the measures above include those travelling from:

• Ireland

• The Channel Islands

• The Isle of Man

The Home Office has also published a list setting out the exemptions from the self-isolating requirement. It includes road haulage and freight workers (to ensure the supply of goods is not impacted) and medical professionals travelling to help fight coronavirus.

NHS contact tracing app

Those entering the UK will also be encouraged to download the 'NHS covid-19 tracing app' on their phones, once available in the UK. This app is currently available to users on the Isle of Wight.

Sources:

Home Secretary announces new public health measures for all UK arrivals

Entering the UK

Coronavirus (COVID-19): travellers exempt from UK border rules

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