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Quarantine rules: what to do after visiting a red list destination

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

For the latest updates on the red list destinations, please refer to our map or

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.

  1. Take a COVID-19 test in the two days before you travel.
    As long as the test meets performance standards, it can be a PCR or antigen (e.g. lateral flow) test
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. Take the official transport to your quarantine hotel.
  5. Self-isolate in the hotel for at least 10 days.
  6. Take COVID-19 tests on day two and day eight.

Discover where you can go

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