COVID-19 | Quarantine hotels and travel
17th February 2021
On 15th February the government published The Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (England) (Amendment) (No. 7) Regulations 2021 setting out rules for the quarantine of international arrivals to England from certain countries.
What are the key restrictions? | Rosenblatt’s Financial Crime Team
A summary of the key provisions of the regulations is provided below.
People allowed to enter England who have visited or passed through a country where travel to the UK is banned in the 10 days before their arrival must:
- Quarantine for 10 days in a managed quarantine hotel, with the day of arrival being day zero.
- Take a Covid-19 test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8 of quarantining.
- Follow the national lockdown rules.
Only British nationals, Irish nationals or anyone with residence rights in the UK are allowed to enter the UK having visited or passed through a country where travel to the UK is banned.
The countries currently on the ‘red list’ are: Angola, Argentina, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Burundi, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, Eswatini, French Guiana, Guyana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal (including Madeira and the Azores), Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, Suriname, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Uruguay, Venezuela, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Before travelling to England passengers must take a Covid-19 test and get a negative result during the 3 days before they travel; book a managed quarantine hotel which will include accommodation and food, transport to the hotel and testing packages for use during quarantine; and complete a passenger locator form. Adults are required to pay £1,750 for a hotel quarantine package.
Those required to quarantine on arrival in England can only arrive at certain ports of entry, currently Heathrow Airport, Gatwick Airport, London City Airport, Birmingham Airport or Farnborough Airport.
Visitors in quarantine are prohibited, including friends or family, unless they’re providing:
- Emergency assistance.
- Care or assistance, including personal care.
- Medical assistance.
- Veterinary services.
- Certain critical public services.
People will only be allowed to leave their room in very limited circumstances including:
- To travel directly to leave the Common Travel Area.
- To fulfil a legal obligation including attending court or satisfying bail conditions or to participate in legal proceedings.
- To exercise but only with special permission from security. This is not guaranteed.
- Seeking medical assistance where this is required urgently or on the advice of a registered medical practitioner.
- To avoid injury, illness or escape a risk of harm (for example situations such as fire or flooding, or cases where domestic abuse occurs within a group quarantining together).
- To access critical public services including social services or services provided to victims (for example critical access such as for a child to see their social worker).
- To access veterinary services where required urgently or on the advice of a veterinary surgeon (no animals other than guide dogs would be in a hotel quarantine).
People can request permission to leave quarantine for the day if a close family member or member of their household is dying, or to attend their funeral. They will need permission from security staff to ensure that the arrangements minimise the public health risks.
A very small proportion of people arriving in England who have visited or passed through a red list country will not need to quarantine in a managed quarantine hotel or in private accommodation. These include but are not limited to bus and coach drivers, diplomatic missions, elite sportspersons and postal workers.
Enforcement | Rosenblatt’s Crime Team
Breaches of the restrictions amount to a criminal offence. The statutory instrument setting out the restrictions contains provisions for enforcing them through fixed penalty notices which increase in amount if a person is a repeat offender. If a person contravenes the regulations regarding managed hotel quarantines, they can be given a Fixed Penalty Notice of £5,000 for the first offence, £8,000 for the second and £10,000 for the third and subsequent offences. People who need to quarantine and who enter England through a port of entry other than those listed are liable for a Fixed Penalty Notice of £10,000. A person who provides inaccurate details about where they have visited may be liable for a Fixed Penalty Notice of £10,000, imprisonment for up to 10 years or both. Proceedings for an offence may also be brought by the Crown Prosecution Service and any person designated by the Secretary of State.
Rosenblatt can help
Rosenblatt has a wealth of experience in criminal law and is uniquely placed to support client’s crime needs during these unprecedented times, consistently ensuring a familiarity with the ever-changing Government guidance on COVID-19.