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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. Check if you have to follow the special rules on GOV.UK.

You’ll need to get tested for coronavirus within 3 days before you enter the UK. You must show your negative test certificate both when: 

  • you board a flight or boat

  • you first arrive in the UK 

You’ll usually have to fill in a form on GOV.UK with details of where you’ll stay in the UK.

You will also 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.

You won’t be able to enter the UK if you’ve travelled from or through certain countries 10 days before you arrive in the UK. This is to help stop the virus from spreading. 

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

Proving you don’t have coronavirus

You’ll need to show your negative test result immediately when you arrive in the UK. Your test result can be in paper form or digital form - for example, on your mobile phone.

If you don’t show a negative test result, you might be fined and not be allowed to enter the UK. 

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. 

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.

It’s best to fill in the form before you travel – you can fill it in up to 48 hours before you arrive in the UK. You can also fill in the form when you arrive – there will be computers you can use.

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.

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
  • be furloughed, if you’ve been furloughed before for at least 3 weeks before 1 July 2020
  • take annual or unpaid leave

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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