Covid-19: Travel & Quarantine in the time of Corona. All you need to know 

Photo by Anugrah Lohiya from Pexels

There is a compulsory 14-day period for all travellers entering the UK. According to the government website, rules states that “You must complete a passenger locator form 48 hours before travelling. Failure to do this is a criminal offence.”

However, passengers can cut their quarantine period to just seven days if they pay for private testing five days after entering the UK from a destination in the travel corridor list. This new scheme is called ‘Test to Release’ and will come into effect on 5 December 2020.

However, there are some exemptions for the ‘Travel Quarantine’ post this Saturday. These include:

  • Business: People coming into the UK for business purposes will be exempt from quarantine as long as they prove they work for a company with over 50 employees, and the UK will benefit from their business.
  • Common Travel Areas: People coming from The Republic of Ireland, The Channel Islands, and The Isle of Man are exempt from quarantine. According to the government website, “You are only exempt from quarantine if you have been in the CTA for the past 14 days before travelling to the UK.” 
  •  Transits: If you are transiting through the UK to your final destination. You will not need to self-isolate as you are not crossing the UK border. However, travellers are still required to fill in the ‘passenger locator form’ 48 hours before travelling.
  • Travel Corridors: Eight more countries have been added to the travel corridor list since 14 November 2020. It means that visitors from these countries won’t need to quarantine on arrival into the UK. These countries include:
    • Chile 
    • Cambodia
    • Laos 
    • Turks & Caicos Islands 
    • UAE 
    • Qatar 
    • Iceland 
    • Greece (Corfu, Rhodes, Zakynthos, and Kos are still not on the travel corridor list) 

Other exemptions added to an already existing list include TV production staff, journalists, and sports professionals. 

Consequences of breaking the rules

Breaking self-isolation rules after travelling can lead to a £1,000 fine. Failure to fill in a ‘passenger locator form’ 48 hours before entering the UK can also lead to a £100 fine.

The government, being able to track that a person is self-isolating after travel will reduce the risk of the Covid-19 virus spreading from other countries. Home secretary Preti Patel said this would “reduce the risk of cases crossing our border.”

Words: Akanksha Goel | Subbing: Salimotu Shobowale 

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