The United Kingdom is now requiring all outbound international travelers to carry a new form that states that their trip is permitted under the country’s COVID-19 lockdown rules.

Key Points:

  • The U.K. remains under stay-at-home rules that were put in place to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus. These rules make it illegal to travel abroad except for a permitted reason, such as for work or education.
  • Under a change that took effect Monday, March 8, anyone leaving the U.K. must download and sign a travel declaration form stating their reason for travel. The form must be printed and carried or downloaded onto a mobile device before travel.
  • Carriers will check that the forms have been completed before boarding, either at check-in or the departure gate. Those who have not completed the form may not be permitted to travel.
  • Police officers will conduct spot checks at airports to ask travelers to produce their completed form. It is an offense to fail to produce a completed form at the port or airport, and individuals could face a £200 fine for failing to do so.
  • Furthermore, travelers who are identified as attempting to travel for reasons that are not permitted will not be allowed to travel and risk receiving a fixed penalty notice starting at £200 rising to a maximum of £6,400.

Additional Information: The new form is one of several travel-related requirements the U.K. government has put in place to slow COVID-19 transmission. Earlier this year, U.K. officials introduced a pre-departure testing requirement for all international arrivals. They have also established a “red list” of countries with high transmission rates; travelers arriving from these countries must isolate at a government-approved facility for 10 days upon arrival. All international arrivals must also take a COVID-19 test 72 hours before departure and on the second and eighth day of their isolation period after arriving in the U.K.

Analysis & Comments: The response to the COVID-19 pandemic 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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