Guidance: How to quarantine at home if you’re not fully vaccinated

Department For Transport

November 26
20:09 2021

What you must do when you enter England from abroad depends on whether youre fully vaccinated under an approved vaccination programme. Some people qualify for fully vaccinated rules for different reasons.

Check if you qualify as fully vaccinated under the UK vaccination programme, or the UK vaccine programme overseas

Check the full list of countries and territories with approved vaccination programmes

Find out what tests you need to take and what else you must do when you enter England from abroad

If youve been in a red list country

There are different rules if youve been in a red list country in the 10 days before you arrive in England.

Check which countries and territories are on the red list and read the red list rules.

Red list update, Friday 26 November 2021

South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia and Zimbabwe moved onto the red list at 12.00 midday Friday 26 November.

A temporary flight ban is in place and all travellers who have been in these countries must quarantine and take tests.

Read about the latest changes to the red list.

Who this guidance is for

This guidance is for people who need to quarantine at home or in the place theyre staying after international travel because they do not qualify for fully vaccinated rules.

How long you must quarantine for

If you have to quarantine when you arrive in England, you must travel directly to the place youre staying.

You must not leave until 10 days have passed.

The quarantine period is continuous from the day you arrive in England, and lasts for the next 10 full days after the day you arrived until 11:59pm on day 10. This period is necessary because it can take up to 10 days for COVID-19 symptoms to appear.

How to count the days

To count the days:

  • the day you arrive in England is day 0
  • the day after you arrive is day 1, and so on

If youre travelling to England for less than 10 days

If youre travelling to England for less than 10 days, you will need to quarantine for the whole of your stay.

You must still book and pay for your day 2 and day 8 travel tests, even if you will no longer be in England on the dates of the tests.

You only need to take the tests if youre still in England on those dates.

How to travel to the place where youre quarantining

When you arrive in England, go straight to the place youre staying to quarantine. Only use public transport if you have no other option, and make sure you follow safer travel guidance for passengers.

If you have or develop COVID-19 symptoms

If you have COVID-19 symptoms, its important that you do not travel by public transport.

If you develop COVID-19 symptoms when youre travelling to England, you should tell one of the crew on your plane, boat, train or bus. Theyll let staff in the airport, port or station know, so they can tell you what you should do next when you arrive.

Long journeys to your quarantine accommodation

If you have a long journey within the UK to arrive at the place where youll be quarantining, you may be able to stop overnight in accommodation where you can quarantine yourself from others before continuing your journey.

You must follow the guidance on how to stay safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19. You must quarantine and provide the address of your overnight stop on your passenger locator form in addition to your declared accommodation address.

What you can and cannot do in quarantine

You must quarantine at the address you provided on the passenger locator form. This can include staying:

  • in your own home
  • with friends or family
  • in a standard hotel or other temporary accommodation

You do not have to quarantine in a managed quarantine hotel these are for only for people arriving from countries on the red list.

You must quarantine in one place for the full quarantine period, where you can have food and other necessities delivered.

Quarantining safely

As soon as you arrive at your place of quarantine you should, as far as possible, avoid contact with other people in the place where youre quarantining to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.

You should stay in a well ventilated room with an outside window that can be opened, separate from other people in your home.

If youre staying in a hotel or guest house, you must stay away from others who did not travel with you. You must not use shared areas such as bars, restaurants, health clubs and sports facilities.

Stay 2 metres apart from other people staying there at all times.


You cannot have visitors, including friends and family, unless theyre providing:

Going out

Unless youre at risk of harm, you cannot leave the premises where youre in quarantine. You must only exercise inside the place where youre quarantining or in the garden. You cannot leave to walk your dog. You will need to ask friends or relatives to help you with this.

If youre at risk of harm

If youre at risk of harm (for example, in cases of domestic abuse), you can leave the place where youre quarantining.


You must not go shopping. If you need help buying groceries, other shopping or picking up medication, you should ask friends or relatives or order a delivery or ask for help from NHS Volunteer Responders.

Getting or posting your tests

Where your testing provider conducts the day 2 and day 8 tests at a test site you can leave the house for your test. Where your tests are delivered and self-administered, if there is no one in your household or bubble who can post the test for processing, you can leave the premises to post your test.

If you have to leave the premises, you should follow safer travel guidance and avoid public transport if possible.

Exceptional circumstances

You can leave your accommodation in certain exceptional circumstances. This includes needing to:

  • get basic urgent necessities like food and medicines where you cannot arrange for these to be delivered
  • travel to a COVID-19 testing site
  • access critical public services including social services and services provided to victims (such as victims of crime)
  • move to a different place for quarantine where you can no longer remain where you are

There may be other exceptional circumstances that allow you to leave your place of quarantine.

You can get advice from a medical or other professional to help decide whether your circumstances are exceptional and require you to leave your place of quarantine.

What to do if you get COVID-19 symptoms

You should order a test if you develop at least one of these 3 COVID-19 symptoms at any point:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • youve lost your sense of smell or taste or its changed

Rules for the people youre staying with

The people youre staying with do

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