To date the Coronavirus pandemic has had little impact on people arriving to the UK, unlike other countries around the world that put in place quarantine measures and strict guidelines for those entering the country. But that may all be about to change following publication of the government’s COVID-19 Recovery Strategy document. We have set out below what this all means and how it might impact you and will be updating this page with further guidance as it is published.
Covid-19 UK immigration update
When will quarantine restrictions come into force for passengers arriving in the UK?
From 8 June 2020 a 14-day self-isolation quarantine will be imposed on all passengers arriving in the UK. The measures include registering with an online locator and possible spot checks after entry. People will be required to stay in their accommodation for 14 days and should not go to work, school, or public areas, or use public transport or taxis during that time. They should not have visitors, including friends and family, unless they are providing essential support. They should not go out to buy food or other essentials where they can rely on others.
Until then, current policy is not to check passengers’ health nor impose quarantine upon arrival, nor impose checks upon departure from the UK. The UK Government does advise that passengers should follow guidance for safe travelling, go straight home from the airport and then only go outside for food, health reasons, daily exercise or work if they cannot work from home, and follow Government guidance on social distancing.
Will there be any exceptions?
There are limited exceptions, including people who usually travel outside the UK at least once a week for work, medical professionals, specialists with technical skills required to ensure the continued production, supply, movement, manufacture, storage or preservation of goods, and Seasonal Agricultural Workers.
Passengers from the Channel Islands, Ireland and the Isle of Man will be also exempt from the quarantine measures.
Are there other measures being imposed on passengers arriving in the UK?
Currently, no screening measures are being imposed on passengers arriving on commercial flights at the UK’s major airports, but passenger screening is expected to be trialled and implemented in due course.
Are there measures for passengers arriving on private aircrafts?
Some private airfields are imposing measures on arrivals from high risk areas. At present these include the requirements to:
• Provide a disinfection certificate for the aircraft, in advance of arrival.
• Provide a written declaration that all passengers are well and not displaying symptoms of Covid-19, in advance of arrival.
• 10 miles before landing in the UK, reconfirm that passengers are well.
The measures are regularly updated do vary from airport to airport, so those with forthcoming travel plans are advised to check procedures prior to departure.
Please contact Tracy.Evlogidis@withersworldwide.com or Alice.Garside@withersworldwide.com if you require further information.