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Coronavirus - if you enter the UK from abroad

Mae’r cyngor hwn yn berthnasol i Cymru

The government have made rules to reduce the chance of people bringing coronavirus into the UK. You have to follow the rules if you arrive in the UK or if you’re coming back to the UK after spending time abroad.

Some rules might not apply to you if you’re travelling for work - check if you have to follow the special rules if you’re travelling for work on the Welsh government website.

You won't have to follow the coronavirus rules if you’re coming to the UK from Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man unless you travelled from somewhere else in the last 10 days.

Check which rules you have to follow

The rules you have to follow depend on whether you’ve been in a country on the government’s ‘red list’ in the last 10 days. Check which countries are on the red list on GOV.UK.

If you’ve been in a country on the red list in the last 10 days

You must:

  • fill in a ‘passenger locator form’ on GOV.UK
  • get tested for coronavirus in the 48 hours before you start your journey to the UK
  • stay in a hotel for 10 days after you arrive - this is called a ‘quarantine hotel’

Children under 12 years old don’t need to take a test before they travel to the UK.

You won’t be allowed to leave the quarantine hotel for your whole stay. You can find out more about staying in a quarantine hotel on GOV.UK.

If you haven’t been in a country on the red list

The rules you have to follow depend on whether you’re fully vaccinated.

You’re fully vaccinated if you’ve had 2 doses of a coronavirus vaccine and at least 14 days have passed since you got the second dose. If you had any doses outside the UK, check if you count as fully vaccinated on GOV.UK.

If you’re under 18

You should follow the rules for fully vaccinated people if you live in either:

  • the UK

If you don’t follow the rules about testing, you might be fined and not be allowed to enter the UK.

If you’re fully vaccinated

You must:

  • fill in a 'passenger locator form' on GOV.UK with details of where you’ll stay in the UK for 10 days after you arrive
  • book a coronavirus test to take on day 2 after you arrive - children under 5 years old don’t need to take a test

You can find organisations you can book tests with on GOV.UK.

If you’ll be in the UK for less than 2 days

You must still book your coronavirus test, even if the date of your test is later than the date you're planning to leave the UK. You'll only need to take the test if you’re still here.

Proving you’re fully vaccinated

You’ll need an official document to prove you’re fully vaccinated, for example:

  • an NHS COVID Pass - check how to get an NHS COVID Pass on GOV.UK
  • a British Overseas Territories government letter saying you’ve been fully vaccinated
  • an EU COVID Certificate 
  • a CDC Vaccination Record Card - you’ll also need proof you live in the United States, for example a passport, visa or Green Card

If you’ve got a different type of document, check the rules about how to prove you’re fully vaccinated on GOV.UK.

If you’re not fully vaccinated

You must do all of the following:

  • fill in a 'passenger locator form' on GOV.UK with details of where you’ll stay in the UK for 10 days after you arrive
  • get tested for coronavirus in the 48 hours before you start your journey to the UK
  • book coronavirus tests to take on days 2 and 8 after you arrive 
  • self-isolate for 10 days after you arrive 

Children under 12 years old don’t need to take a test before they travel to the UK. Children under 5 years old don’t need to take any tests.

Any test you take before you travel to the UK must meet the minimum standard set by the government. You can check what coronavirus tests are allowed on GOV.UK.

You can find organisations you can book UK tests with on GOV.UK.

Some people don’t have to take a coronavirus test before entering the UK. You can check if you don’t need to take a coronavirus test on the Welsh government website.

You must show your negative test certificate both when: 

  • you board a flight, boat or train to the UK
  • you first arrive in the UK 

Your test result can be in paper form or digital form - for example, on your mobile phone.

If you’ll be in the UK for less than 10 days

You must still book your coronavirus tests, even if the date of your tests is later than the date you're planning to leave the UK. You'll only need to take the tests if you’re still here.

Check the rules if you have to self-isolate

You’ll need to self-isolate at the address you put on the passenger locator form until you get a negative test result - it doesn’t matter if you’re vaccinated or not.

You usually need to self-isolate for 10 days after you arrive in the UK. If you test positive for coronavirus during the 10 days, you need to stay in self-isolation for 10 days after you test positive.

If you’ll be in the UK for less than 10 days, you’ll need to follow the self-isolation rules for the whole of your stay.

When you arrive in the UK you should go straight to the place you’re staying to self-isolate. You can use public transport if you have no other way of getting there. 

You can only leave for certain reasons, including:

  • getting basic things like food, medicine or pet supplies – if you can’t get them delivered
  • taking or posting a coronavirus test
  • getting medical help – if it’s urgent or your doctor has told you to get help
  • going to the funeral of a close relative
  • if there’s an emergency – for example if it’s not safe to stay inside

You must not meet anyone except the people you’re staying with.

The people you’re staying with don’t need to self-isolate, unless:

  • they travelled with you
  • you or someone you’re staying with have coronavirus symptoms
  • you get a positive coronavirus test result while you’re self-isolating

If any of these things apply, the people staying with you must self-isolate with you. They have to follow the same rules for the same length of time as you.

You might get phone calls from the NHS to check you’re following self-isolation rules. They might also visit your address. You can find out more about self-isolation checks on GOV.UK.

If you don’t self-isolate, you might get a £1,000 fine.

If you need to move to a different address in the 10 days, you must fill in a new form on GOV.UK.

Reducing your self-isolation period to 5 days

You can stop self-isolating after 5 days if you pay for a private test to show you don't have coronavirus. The test has to be from a provider that's approved by the government.

You can find out how to get a test to reduce your self-isolation period on GOV.UK.

If you can’t go to work because of self-isolation

If you’re self-employed, you might be able to get a payment from the government – check what help you can get if you’re self-employed.

If you’re employed, talk to your employer about what you can do while you're self-isolating. Ask them if you can:

  • work from home

  • take annual or unpaid leave

If you have to take unpaid leave, check if you can get Employment and Support Allowance

Filling in the passenger locator form 

You must fill in the form on GOV.UK with details of the address where you’ll be staying in the UK. Fill in the form before you travel – you can fill it in a maximum of 48 hours before you arrive in the UK. 

If you’re an adult you must fill in your own form but you can fill it in for a child.

When you complete the form you’ll get an email confirmation to print or show on your phone. You’ll need to show the confirmation to both:

  • your travel provider 
  • immigration officials when you arrive in the UK

If you don’t fill in the form, you might get a fine of up to £100 – the fine can be up to £3,200 if you give the wrong address. If you’re not a British or Irish citizen, you might not be allowed into the UK.

If you’re struggling to pay for tests

You might be able to get help from the government.

You can only get help if your travel was essential - for example if it was for work or to visit a family member who was very ill.

Check if you can get help to pay and how to apply on GOV.UK.

You can’t get statutory sick pay or a self-isolation payment if you have to self-isolate because you came from abroad. You might be able to get them for other reasons – for example if you test positive for coronavirus and have to self isolate.

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