Detailed guide: How to quarantine when you arrive in England

Department Of Health

April 7
14:40 2021

From 15 February onwards, everyone allowed to enter England from outside the Common Travel Area (Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man) must:

  • quarantine for 10 days
  • take a coronavirus (COVID-19) test on day 2 and day 8 of quarantining unless your job permits exemption
  • follow the national social distancing rules

You should follow separate guidance if youve been in a country where travel to the UK is banned. These countries are sometimes called the red list. See the red list countries.

You should follow separate advice if you need to quarantine in:

What you must do before you travel

Everyone must:

  • take a coronavirus (COVID-19) test and get a negative result during the 3 days before you travel
  • book and pay for a travel test package, which will include COVID-19 tests to be taken on or before day 2 and on or after day 8 of your quarantine
  • complete a passenger locator form with details of where you will home quarantine when you arrive and the travel test package booking reference number

Providing false or deliberately misleading information when filling out your passenger locator form is an offence punishable by imprisonment. You could be fined up to 10,000, imprisoned for up to 10 years or both if you do not provide accurate details about the countries you have visited in the 10 days before you arrived in the UK.

If you break the quarantine rules, you may face a penalty of up to 10,000.

If, within the current restrictions on travel within the Common Travel Area and the recommendation not to travel at all, youre travelling from somewhere in the Common Travel Area (Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) and you have not left the Common Travel Area for the past 10 days, you do not need a test before leaving or to home quarantine and take tests after arriving.

Get a test before travelling

You must have proof of a negative coronavirus test to travel to England this includes UK citizens. You must take the test in the 3 days before the service on which you will arrive in England departs.

If you arrive in England without proof you tested negative, you could be fined 500.

For example, if you travel directly to England on Friday, you must take the test on the Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.

See the jobs with testing travel exemptions to find out whether your job qualifies for an exemption and what that exemption covers. You may need to show evidence of the work you will be doing at the border.

Book your travel test package

Everyone must book a travel test package. You must take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 for variant surveillance and a test on or after day 8 to check that you do not have COVID-19.

You will not be able to leave quarantine until you have received both a negative result from your day-8 test and quarantined for 10 days.

If you do not take the day-2 and day-8 tests, you may face a penalty of up to 2,000.

If you test positive for either the day-2 or day-8 test, you must quarantine for a further 10 days from the day after you took the test you will receive further advice alongside your test results.

If your day-2 test shows that you have a variant of coronavirus known as a variant of concern, you will get a further call and your contacts will be asked to be tested.

Provide details of where you will quarantine when you arrive (passenger locator form)

Before you travel to England you must provide your journey, contact details and the address where you will quarantine by completing the passenger locator form. You must do this within the 48 hours before you arrive.

You must provide a test package booking reference number to complete your passenger locator form.

You may be asked to show these details to immigration officers when you arrive.

If you provide false or deliberately misleading information, you may be fined or imprisoned.

Quarantine for 10 days after you arrive

When you arrive in England, you must travel directly to the place youre staying and 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 consecutive days after the day you arrived up until midnight of day 10. For the purposes of counting days, the day after arrival is considered day one. This period is necessary because it can take up to 10 days for coronavirus symptoms to appear.

If youre travelling to England for less than 10 days, you will need to quarantine for the whole of your stay. You must travel directly to your place of quarantine when you arrive in England and directly from your place of quarantine to the port or airport when you leave. You should follow safer travel guidance and avoid public transport if possible.

If you break the quarantine rules, you may face a penalty of up to 10,000.

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.

If you do use public transport, you must take all safety precautions to prevent the risk of virus transmission. These include:

  • keeping your distance and observing social contact rules
  • washing or sanitising your hands regularly
  • wearing a face covering that covers your nose and mouth (this is required by law unless youre exempt)
  • planning ahead and avoiding the busiest routes, as well as busy times like the rush hour
  • downloading the NHS COVID-19 app before you travel, if possible, and checking in on the app where you see official NHS COVID-19 QR code posters along your route (such as if you stop to buy food) and if you have to take a break otherwise minimise all stops on your journey

If you have coronavirus symptoms, it is important that you do not travel by public transport.

If you develop coronavirus 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 you will be quarantining, you may be able to stop overnight in accommodation where you

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