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Coronavirus - if you enter the UK from abroad

This advice applies to England

There are special rules if you’re planning to arrive in the UK. This includes 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 GOV.UK.

You’ll usually have to:

  • fill in a form on GOV.UK with details of where you’ll stay in the UK
  • get tested for coronavirus in the 3 days before you start your journey to the UK
  • book coronavirus tests to take after you arrive

You will have to stay inside at the address you put on the form for 10 days after you arrive – this is called ‘self-isolating’ or ‘quarantine’.

The rules are different if you’re coming to the UK from Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man. You won’t have to fill in the form or self-isolate unless you travelled from somewhere else in the last 10 days.

If you’ve been in certain countries in the last 10 days, you might not be able to enter the UK. These countries are called ‘red list’ countries. You can check which countries are on the red list on GOV.UK.

If you normally live in the UK and you’ve been in a red list country, you can enter the UK but you’ll have to quarantine in a hotel when you arrive. You can find out more about staying in a quarantine hotel on GOV.UK.

You can find travel advice and warnings for the country you’re traveling from on GOV.UK.

Filling in the 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 up to 48 hours before you arrive in the UK. 

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 give the wrong information about where you've travelled

You could go to prison for up to 10 years if you don't mention you've been to a red list country. 

Proving you don’t have coronavirus

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.

Some people don't have to take a coronavirus test before entering the UK. You can find a list of people who don’t need to take a coronavirus test on GOV.UK. 

Before you travel to the UK, you’ll also need to book 2 coronavirus tests to take after you arrive. You’ll need to take a test on both:

  • day 2 of your quarantine
  • day 8 of your quarantine

If either test shows you have coronavirus you’ll have to quarantine until 10 days after your positive test. 

You can book your quarantine coronavirus tests on the Corporate Travel Management website.

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

Self-isolating for 10 days

If you have to self-isolate, you must stay at the address you put on the form.

You can only leave the address for certain reasons, including:

  • getting basic things like food, medicine or pet supplies – if you can’t get them delivered
  • 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.

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.

You can check the rules on self-isolation 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 quarantine

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 in quarantine. Ask them if you can:

  • work from home

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

You can’t get statutory sick pay or a self-isolation payment for being in quarantine. 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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