With around 40% of workers in the Finishes and Interiors Sector migrating to the UK to work or for those who managed to escape for a Christmas holiday overseas, many will be set to return this week.  Here FIS provides a quick summary on advice for returning in a lockdown.

  • passengers will be subject to an immediate fine of £500 if they fail to comply with the new regulations on pre-departure testing
  • all passengers arriving from countries not on the government’s travel corridor list will still be required to self-isolate for 10 days, regardless of test result
  • passengers will still be required to fill in a passenger locator form and be subject to national lockdown restrictions
  • all international arrivals to England, including UK nationals, required to present a negative COVID-19 test taken up to 72 hours prior to departure (from Monday 18th January)

Completion of a Passenger Locator Form

Failing to complete the form is a criminal offence.  You must show proof of a completed passenger locator form at the UK border. You can complete it up to 48 hours before you enter the UK, and should do so before arrival.   To complete the form you need:

  • your passport details
  • your travel details, including times and dates
  • the address where you will stay in the UK (if applicable)
  • a booking reference number and the name of the test provider, if you’re using the Test to Release Scheme to find out if you can end self-isolation early

You can submit the Passenger Locator Form any time in the 48 hours before you arrive in the UK.  If you do not provide an accurate passenger locator form or breach self-isolation rules you can be fined (fines can be up to £10,000 with the potential of prosecution if you do not pay on time).

Self Isolation Requirements

If you’ve been somewhere that is not on the ‘travel corridors’ list in the 10 days before you arrive in England, you must self-isolate (for ten days) when you arrive.  You may, however, be able to end self-isolation early if you pay for a private coronavirus (COVID-19) test through the ‘Test to Release’ scheme.  Further guidance on self-isolation is available here for EnglandScotlandWales and Northern Ireland.

You can view the latest guidance and list of travel corridors for EnglandScotlandWales and Northern Ireland

Test to Release Scheme

The Test to Release for International Travel Scheme is for people who need to self-isolate on arrival in England.  Under the scheme you can choose to pay for a private COVID-19 test. If the result is negative, you can stop self-isolating.  The earliest you can take the test is 5 full days after you left a place not on the travel corridor list.

The scheme is voluntary and applies to those self-isolating in England only.

You can find out more about the Test to Release Scheme here.

Mandatory COVID-19 testing introduced to bolster border measures

From Monday 18th January International arrivals will be required to prove negative COVID-19 test result before departure for England.  Passengers arriving from all international destinations  (by boat, plane or train) will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test result taken up to 72 hours before departing for England to help protect against new strains of coronavirus circulating internationally.

The UK Border Force will conduct spot checks on arrival into England to ensure that passengers are fully compliant.  This will apply irrespective of whether a country is on the travel corridor list.  This will not alter the self-isolation requirements (see below).

There will be a limited number of exemptions, including for hauliers, children under 11, crews and for those who travelling from countries without the infrastructure available to deliver the tests.

Other information

Don’t forget to check with your airline to see if there are any particular requirements to support for safe travel and any protocol requirements for the airport that you intend to fly out of.

Remember from the 1st January 2021, the points based immigration system was implemented.  Overseas nationals working in the UK prior to the 1st January will need to apply for a right to remain via the UK settlement scheme and prospective new workers will be subjected to tighter immigration rules. 

Further details on the new points based immigration system are available here.

Full details on the revised rules for entering the UK are available here.

 You can access the FIS COVID-19 Hub here.