The U.K. government has announced that beginning Feb. 15 travelers arriving in England from 33 “red list” countries will be required to quarantine in a hotel for 10 days. All travelers arriving in Scotland will be required to quarantine in a hotel for 10 days. Additional testing requirements have also been introduced.

Key Points:

  • Travelers entering England from the 33 “red list” countries will be required to enter a government-approved hotel quarantine facility for 10 days upon arrival. Only U.K. nationals, Irish nationals and U.K. residents are currently allowed to enter the England from the “red list” countries.
  • These travelers must book and pay for their quarantine before traveling to the U.K. The cost per individual is £1,750, which includes testing, transportation and hotel quarantine.
  • All international arrivals to England, whether under home quarantine or hotel quarantine, will be required by law to take further PCR COVID-19 tests on the second and eighth day of that quarantine. This is in addition to the existing requirement to present a negative COVID-19 test 72 hours before traveling to the U.K.
  • Breaching the rules is considered a criminal offense, and there will be penalties in place for travelers who do not comply. Fines will range from £1000 to £10,000 and there could also be possible prison sentences of up to 10 years for those who provide false information on the passenger locator form or try to conceal they have been in a “red list” country in the 10 days before arrival.
  • An online portal will go live shortly, both for the hotel quarantine facilities and COVID-19 testing. Passengers will have to book the hotel and testing through the online portal before they travel.
  • In Scotland, the 10-day hotel quarantine requirement will apply to all international arrivals flying into Scotland from Feb. 15, not just arrivals from the “red list” countries. All arrivals from outside the Common Travel Area must book and pay for managed isolation in quarantine hotels.
  • Travelers arriving in Northern Ireland and Wales from outside the Common Travel Area are required to self-isolate for 10 days, but a hotel quarantine is not currently required.

Background: Previously, the U.K. government banned visitors from entering England who have been in “red list” countries in the 10 days before traveling to the U.K. The new measures mark a tightening of restrictions in light of reported new variants of COVID-19.

Analysis & Comments: The response to COVID-19 continues to develop, and Deloitte will provide additional updates as information becomes available. Please check Deloitte’s COVID-19 Digital Map, available here, for information on travel restrictions and immigration changes in other countries.

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