What are the new UK travel rules? Do you have to quarantine in a hotel?
Under the changes announced by the UK government, from 15th February anyone arriving at English ports will be required to undertake 2 compulsory COVID-19 tests – on day 2 and day 8 of their 10-day quarantine.
At present, people travelling to the UK are required to provide proof of a negative coronavirus test taken no more than 3 days before departure and must self-isolate on arrival.
But from 15th February, anyone arriving who has been in a country on the UK’s “red list” in the previous 10 days will be required to purchase a quarantine package through a dedicated portal in advance. This package will cost around £1,750 for a single adult and will include:
- Assigned Government Transportation
- Food and Drinks
- Accommodation in a government-approved facility
What is a ‘red list’ country?
There are currently 33 countries on the UK’s travel “red list”.
Angola, Argentina, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Burundi, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, Eswatini, French Guiana, Guyana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, Suriname, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Venezuela, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
These are countries from which only British and Irish nationals, or third-country nationals with residence rights in the UK, will be able to enter the UK.
If you do not have residence rights in the UK, you will be refused entry at the UK border if you have been in one of the “red list” countries in the previous 10 days.
Indian students can breathe a sigh of relief as India is not a part of the red list, which is a great news. Students can board a direct flight to the UK which will save them the quarantine hassle and charges. You will only have to complete a 10-day quarantine period at your student accommodation/home.
Are these UK-wide measures?
The rules will be slightly different in Scotland, where all international travellers arriving directly on flights will have to enter quarantine hotels.
However, the Welsh government has said it will put in place the same arrangements in Wales as the UK government is doing for England.