What do the UK’s new quarantine rules mean for travellers?

The UK has introduced mandatory quarantine for anyone entering the country, including returning citizens and residents.

From 8 June, anyone entering the UK from another country will have to spend 14 days in isolation. This applies to anyone who arrives by plane, ferry, train or car. People entering the country must fill out an online form, known as the public health passenger locator, up to 48 hours in advance, with contact details and address details. Failure to complete the form could result in a fine of £100. Random checks will be carried out and those caught breaching quarantine rules will be fined £1,000 or fined £3,200 for providing incorrect information.

Once a person is at their destination, whether it is his home or a hotel, they are not allowed to use public transport or taxis. They can leave their accommodation only to buy food or other supplies or to seek medical help. The rules will be reviewed every three weeks as the UK’s rock-downlockdown rules are relaxed.

Vital professions such as nursing, doctors, seasonal workers and freight drivers are exempt from quarantine. Those arriving from the Common Travel Area (CTA) – Ireland, the Channel Islands or Isle of Man – can also bypass quarantine as long as they have not been outside the CTA for the past 14 days.

As the UK relaxes the rules, groups of up to six people are now allowed to meet outside the home. Non-essential businesses will open from 15 June, the same day that mouthcaps become mandatory in public. Looking ahead to future travel, the government is considering an “international travel corridor” agreement with countries with low infection rates, as a way to relax some quarantine regulations. But for now, the Foreign Office is still advising all but necessary travel, and with returning citizens having to isolate themselves, it seems that there are “staycations” on the map for British holidaymakers this summer.

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