Almost ten months on from the UK’s first national lockdown of the pandemic, the country has introduced its toughest measure yet for travelers hoping to visit the UK. The country has introduced mandatory quarantine for travelers from 30 different “red list” countries, that have been selected due to their high Covid-19 case levels and the prevalence of mutated strains of the virus in the country. Here are more details about the quarantine arrangement, and a look at other ways the country is enforcing the recommendation not to travel during the pandemic.
UK Quarantine – Which Travelers Are Affected?
The idea of a quarantine for passengers heading to the UK has been in the headlines this week, with a blanket ban for all travelers expected to be announced by the British government. However, when the policy was confirmed many were shocked when it emerged that it didn’t cover all travelers, but only those coming from a “red list” country.
Under the new rule, travelers from these countries – including returning British nationals – would need to isolate in government-provided accommodation, such as hotels, for a period of ten days. They will be escorted directly from the airport to their facility, and travelers are to pay the costs for the quarantine arrangements themselves.
Travelers arriving from other countries, not on the hotel quarantine list, are still able to enter the UK, but with many restrictions.
They will not need to enter a government facility for quarantine, but they are expected to self-isolate for ten days upon arrival, unless using the UK’s ‘test to release’ program. All travelers must show a negative Covid-19 test result to enter the country, as well as fill out a passenger locator form.
Some professions have exemptions for some of the Covid-related requirements needed to enter the UK – a full list can be found here.
The “red list” countries that the quarantine announcement applies to are:
- Cape Verde
- Democratic Republic of Congo
- French Guiana,
- Portugal (including Madeira and the Azores)
- South Africa
Why Has Quarantine Been Introduced?
The UK had decided to introduce quarantine in order to prevent further spread of Covid-19 and its variants. The UK has struggled greatly with halting the spread of the virus throughout the pandemic, recording some of the worst Covid-related statistics in the world.
It has a 7-day average of just below 30,000 cases per day, equating to 3.72 million total cases and 102,000 deaths. The country has entered several lockdowns, and has been accused of not being strict or swift enough with its actions.
Countries that are being subjected to quarantine measures have high cases numbers and have reported cases of the more-transmissible variants of coronavirus. The quarantine order has been issued to ensure these variants don’t find their way into the country, as the nation struggles to deal with its own virulent variant.
British Travelers Face Fines – What Travelers Should Know
As well as introducing strict rules controlling inbound travel, the UK is also committed to stemming outbound travel too. Speaking in the House of Commons yesterday, the UK’s Home Secretary Priti Patel decried the amount of people still traveling. She revealed that transport providers and an increased police presence would check people’s reasons for traveling, and would send them home if their reason was not deemed to be valid. They are also be liable to be fined.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories