If you need to travel to a red list country, it’s important to fully understand the UK’s quarantine rules. Arrange your quarantine hotel package in advance and remember to take a PCR test before arriving in the UK.
The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advises against all but essential travel to red list destinations, and anyone travelling to the UK from a ‘high risk’ country is required to hotel quarantine. When travel to a red list country is unavoidable, these are the quarantine rules you should follow on your return.
The latest quarantine rules
Quarantine rules: where to stay, and how long for
If you’ve been in a red list country in the past 10 days, you can’t enter the UK unless you’re a UK or Irish national, or a UK resident. The red list quarantine rules apply to everyone – even those who are fully vaccinated.
There’s no option to self-isolate at home. Instead, you need to pre-book (and pay for) quarantine in a managed hotel. The package price (£2,285 per person) includes a transfer from the airport, accommodation, meals, and the two COVID-19 tests you must take on day two and day eight.
There’s also no Test to Release option – you need to stay at the quarantine hotel for a minimum of 10 days, with the day you arrive counting as day ‘zero’.
What happens if you break the quarantine rules?
You can face a penalty of £10,000 if you break quarantine. If you don’t arrange your quarantine package before arriving in the UK, you can be fined up to £4,000. You’ll also need to pay the full cost of a quarantine package.
Quarantine checklist: what do I have to do?
Quarantine rules on return from red list countries are the same whether you’re fully vaccinated or not. There are a few things you’ll need to do, some of which you should organise in advance.
- Take a COVID-19 test in the three days before you travel.
As long as the test meets performance standards, it can be a PCR test, LAMP test or antigen (e.g. lateral flow) test
- Book a quarantine hotel package.
You will need to quarantine for 10 full days, and longer if you test positive on day two or day eight
- Fill in a passenger locator form in the 48 hours before you travel.
You’ll need the invoice number for your quarantine hotel, and booking reference numbers for the COVID-19 tests included in the package
- Take the official transport to your quarantine hotel.
- Self-isolate in the hotel for at least 10 days.
- Take COVID-19 tests on day two and day eight.
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