The Government has reviewed its quarantine policy, which has required all passengers returning to the UK from overseas since 8 June to self-isolate for 14 days. From 10 July, passengers returning or visiting from certain destinations which pose a lower risk to the public health of UK citizens will no longer need to self-isolate when arriving in England.
Having announced its intention to do so earlier this week, the Government has today (3 July) published a list of ‘travel corridor countries’, whose risk level for transmission of the virus is considered to be lower. Travellers returning from any of these countries on or after 10 July are exempt from the self-isolation requirement unless they have travelled in or through a non-exempt country within the previous 14 days.
All passengers returning from abroad will still have to complete a form providing contact and travel information (a passenger locator form) before they travel to the UK, and provide evidence that they have done this when they arrive at the UK border. This will ensure that they can be contacted if they, or anyone they have been in contact with, develops the virus. The information provided will also allow the authorities to monitor compliance with the new quarantine rules. Travellers will also need to provide details of countries or territories they have been in or through during the previous 14 days.
The list of travel corridor countries and territories will be kept under constant review, so that if the health risks increase self-isolation measures can be re-introduced to help stop the spread of the disease into England.
In addition, while the general advice from the FCO is still to avoid all but essential international travel, with effect from 4 July the FCO is relaxing its advice on travel to certain countries that are on the Government’s list of ‘travel corridor countries’ to which the 14 day self-isolation quarantine requirement does not apply.
The Devolved Administrations will set out their own approach to exemptions, and so passengers returning to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland should ensure they follow the laws and guidance which apply there.
How we can help
In addition, we are in the process of updating our Checklist: deciding your policy for managing employee absence due to quarantine after overseas travel. This covers what you can and should do if employees have booked personal travel abroad, given that under the quarantine rules returning employees may need to take an extra two weeks off work to self-isolate. The revised Checklist will shortly be available free of charge for Make UK member companies in the HR & Legal resources area of our website as part of the Furlough Letters and Resources Pack. If you’re not a Make UK member, you can buy the Furlough Letters and Resources Pack online here.