Travelling to the UK
Self-isolating when you travel to the UK
When you arrive in the UK, you must travel directly to the place you are staying and not leave for 10 days.
Test to release scheme
Under the Test to Release for International Travel scheme people returning to England who need to self-isolate will be able to take a COVID test with a private test provider to see if they can end their self-isolation early.
Who must self-isolate
These rules are for UK residents and all visitors coming into the UK.
You will need to complete a public health passenger locator form unless you are travelling within the Common Travel Area and have been in the Common Travel Area for the past 10 days.
Some people do not have to self-isolate because of their job.
Why self-isolating is important
It can take up to 10 days for you to develop COVID-19 symptoms after you catch the virus and in this time you can unknowingly pass it on to others, even if you don't have symptoms.
Self-isolating will reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the UK and help prevent family, friends and the community from contracting it, as well as helping to protect the NHS.
How to self-isolate in your accommodation
You should self-isolate in one place for the full self-isolation period, where you can have food and other necessities delivered, and stay away from others. You must self-isolate at the address you provided on the passenger locator form.
You should not have visitors, unless they are providing:
- emergency assistance
- care or assistance, including personal care
- medical assistance
- veterinary services
- certain critical public services
You cannot go out to work, go shopping, go to school or visit public areas. If you require help buying groceries, other shopping or picking up medication, you should ask friends or relatives or order a delivery.
You must also only exercise within your home or garden.
Support to help you self-isolate
If you cannot safely self-isolate for 10 days, you should tell Border Force Officers when you pass through UK border controls.
You may be entitled to financial support while you're self-isolating.
NHS Volunteer Responders are available, please call 0808 196 3646 (8am to 8pm) to arrange volunteer support.
It's important to avoid as much contact with other people as possible in your home.
If you're staying in a hotel or guest house, you must stay away from others who didn't travel with you.
If you do not have any COVID-19 symptoms at the end of your self-isolation period, you can stop self-isolating but must follow the local guidance in place.
If you experience any of the following symptoms in the 10 days after the day you arrive in the UK:
- new continuous cough
- high temperature
- loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
You should continue to self-isolate at home. If you are staying with others and you develop symptoms, the whole household that you are staying with will need to begin self-isolating.
If your test for COVID-19 is positive you will be asked to share your contacts with the NHS Test and Trace service, and your contact detail declaration may be used to alert people who travelled to the UK alongside you.