How to self-isolate correctly when you arrive in the UK

How to self-isolate correctly

This article was written by the Great British Mag editorial team on 9 December 2020

If you develop symptoms of Covid-19 you will need to self-isolate. In this article we explain what that involves and how you can best navigate it.

Do your research

Be aware that the rules vary in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England and you should familiarise yourself with the local rules as well as any national restrictions, the best way to do this to set-up email alerts and to read anything you get from the National Health Service.

Does everyone have to self-isolate?

You may not have to self-isolate for 14 days if you arrive from a country on the travel corridors list which is regularly updated, so check the UK Government website before you travel.

However, you will need to self-isolate if you have visited or made a transit stop in a country that is not on the travel corridors list within 14 days before you arrive in the UK.

From 15 December 2020 you will be able to take a private Covid-19 test to see if you can end self-isolation early under the test to release scheme.

This option is only available in England after you have self-isolated for six days. The test costs between £65 and £120 and results will be back within 24 to 48 hours. If the results are negative you can stop self-isolating.

Do I have to go straight to my accommodation?

Yes, you must travel straight to the place you will be self-isolating and if possible, avoid public transport. If you have to use public transport wear a face mask (unless you are exempt for health reasons) and stay 2 metres apart from other people.

Is an overnight stay at a hotel allowed?

If you have a long onward journey from the airport to your accommodation. You can stop overnight in accommodation that allows you to self-isolate, such as a hotel. If you do stay in a hotel then you need to add this onto the passenger locator form and you will need to check that your stopover is permitted under the local restrictions.

How to self-isolate in your accommodation

You should self-isolate in one place for the full self-isolation period and it must be the address you put on the passenger locator form. You should not socialise with people you are living with and not leave the property for any reason, including buying food, for exercise or to walk a dog.

If you do not have anyone that can help you contact the NHS Volunteer Responders on 0808 196 3646, between 8am to 8pm. They will be able to help you with things like food shopping, picking up medication or taking your dog for a walk.

What should I do if I develop symptoms of Covid-19 after arriving in the UK?

If you develop symptoms after arriving in the UK get tested as soon as possible. You might be able to get a test posted to you, through your university or by visiting a test centre free of charge.

If the test is positive you will need to self-isolate for 10 days and follow the instructions provided to you by your airline and inform your university as well as people you have been in contact with. You may also be contacted by the National Health Service (NHS) who will want to know who you have been in contact with and ask you about your symptoms.

What can happen if I do not self-isolate?

Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England all have different rules. For example in England if you do not self-isolate, you can receive a fixed penalty notice of £1,000 for a first offence, £2,000 for a second offence, £4,000 for a third offence and then £10,000 for each repeat offence.

You can also be fined up to £3,200 if you move from the accommodation where you’re self-isolating to another place to continue self-isolating and do not update your passenger contact form.

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