Guidance: Coronavirus (COVID-19): how to self-isolate when you travel to England

Department Of Health

February 9
16:01 2021


From 15 February, if you arrive in England and have travelled in a country on the banned travel list (sometimes called the red list) in the last 10 days, you will need to quarantine (self-isolate) in a government quarantine hotel for 10 days. You will need to book your hotel before you travel and 2 COVID-19 tests to take during your quarantine.

If youre coming from a country that is not on the banned travel list, you will need to quarantine at home for 10 days. You will need to book 2 COVID-19 tests before you arrive to take during your quarantine.

More information on how to book quarantine hotels and tests will be available on Thursday.

You do not need to quarantine in England if youre travelling from Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man and have not been in any other countries in the last 10 days.

Until 15 February, when you arrive in England, you must travel directly to the place where youre staying and self-isolate for 10 days. The 10-day period is counted from the day after you leave the departure country, territory or island.

This guidance sets out:

  • who must self-isolate
  • how you should travel to the place where you are self-isolating
  • how to self-isolate
  • support to help you self-isolate
  • what to do if you get coronavirus symptoms
Published 3 June 2020
Last updated 9 February 2021 +show all updates
  1. Added a brief explanation of new rules coming into force from 15 February.

  2. Updated to include links to the list of countries with travel bans and to pre-departure testing guidance.

  3. Updated with information about pre-departure testing, closing 'travel corridors' and additional travel restrictions for the following countries: South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Eswatini, Zambia, Malawi, Lesotho, Mozambique, Angola, Mauritius or Seychelles, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia,Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela, Cape Verde, Portugal (including Madeira and the Azores) and Panama.

  4. Updated guidance to reflect new rules for those who have travelled through Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Eswatini, Zambia, Malawi, Lesotho, Mozambique, Angola, Mauritius and Seychelles. Also updated to reflect where the guidance now applies to England and not the UK.

  5. Update to guidance to reflect Tiers information post travel.

  6. Updated guidance to reflect new rules for those who have travelled through South Africa.

  7. Added diagram showing how the self-isolation rules apply in 4 example cases of someone arriving in the UK.

  8. Updated to show change in the self-isolation period from 14 days to 10 days.

  9. Added that from 15 December, you will be able to take a COVID-19 test with a private test provider to see if you can end self-isolation early.

  10. Changes refer to the new national restrictions and how they affect the requirements on international arrivals when returning from exempt and non-exempt destinations.

  11. Updated to reflect the self-isolation requirements for international travellers arriving into the UK. The changes exempt travellers arriving from countries on the travel corridors list. The updates also clarify how many days travellers should self-isolate for and from which day the self-isolation period starts (that is, the day after they leave the non-exempt country).

  12. Added example of exceptional circumstance which may permit you to leave your place of self-isolation: if you have a health condition or a disability that would be seriously exacerbated if you were not able to leave your accommodation (and its outdoor areas) where you are self-isolating to take exercise.

  13. Clarifies the exceptional circumstances in which a non-exempt international arrival could leave their home while self-isolating.

  14. Added link to guidance 'Self-isolating after returning to the UK: your employment rights'.

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