Thursday, 9 Jul 2020

Travel OUT of UK: What are the rules for leaving the UK?

Thousands of holidays have been cancelled this year as a result of coronavirus. Now, as the aviation industry looks ready to begin flying again, the Government has introduced a two-week quarantine period for everyone entering the UK from a foreign country. More than 200 travel companies have written to Government officials asking for the new rules to be scrapped, while some MPs have also voiced concerns.

What are the rules for leaving the UK?

In terms of leaving the UK, a summer holiday still looks unlikely for most according to Government advice.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which is in charge of travel restrictions, advises “British nationals against all but essential international travel”.

This advice is being kept under constant review and is subject to change any time, so it is worth keeping an eye on the website.

Ministers have warned tat a trip abroad may not be a good idea.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said it was “a risk” to book a holiday abroad, while Health Secretary Matt Hancock wanted summer holidays were “likely” to be cancelled this year.


  • Holidays 2020: Entry requirements for holiday destinations

What are the quarantine rules in the UK?

Almost everyone arriving in Britain will have to fill in a “contact locator form”, which will include details on where they will isolate and how they can be contacted.

The form must be completed before travelling abroad, with Border Force carrying out spot checks to ensure it is.

Non-residential nationals who do not complete the form may be refused entry into the UK as well as a £100 fine.

Passengers must have a receipt, either printed or on their phones or laptops, to prove they have completed the form.


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The move has come under fire by many, including the aviation industry, who believe it will render summer holidays impossible.

Home Secretary Priti Patel has defended the plan, saying that it is an “essential” move designed to save lives.

If international travellers are unable to isolate in their own accommodation, the Government will provide somewhere for them to stay.

Travellers from Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands will be exempt from the scheme unless they have travelled from overseas in the last 14 days.

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People will be able to use public transport to arrive at their quarantine destination, but will be encouraged to use public vehicles, it is understood.

Public Health England will carry out routine spot checks to ensure people are following the rules, and have warned they may inform law enforcement officials if they suspect people are not.

Anyone breaching the rules of isolation could face a hefty fine of £1,000 or prosecution.

In addition, foreign nationals who refuse to comply with the measures could also be removed from the country as a last resort.

Some airlines, including easyJet, Ryanair and British Airways, are resuming flights in July – but many will choose not to fly if it means quarantining for two weeks upon their return.

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary branded the plan “idiotic” and “unimplementable”, while BA warned that may have to delay the return of flight services if the move goes ahead.

Many countries and airports are requesting temperature checks instead of quarantine to encourage tourism.

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