In a statement to the House of Commons today, Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced new measures at the border.

From Monday 15 February:

All arrivals at English ports will be required to undertake 2 mandatory COVID-19 tests – on day 2 and day 8 of their 10-day quarantine. Tests must be booked from a list of government-approved test providers. Test to Release will continue to be in operation – however, arrivals will still be required to purchase the 2-testing package.

Anyone arriving who has been in a country on the UK’s travel ban list in the previous 10 days will be required arrive into a designated arrival port and to purchase a quarantine package. Bookings will be made through a dedicated online portal and will include:

  • assigned government transportation
  • food and drinks
  • accommodation in a government-approved facility
  • security
  • welfare
  • testing

The charge for a single adult will be less than £1,750.

The new measures build on those already in place:

  • Refusing entry to non-UK residents from ‘red list’ countries
  • All passengers, no matter which country they have travelled from, required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 3 days before departure and must self-isolate on arrival
  • A passenger locator form must also be completed with fines for those who fail to comply – these most now detail their quarantine and testing package as well as their travel journey

Increased enforcement has also been confirmed:

  • Passengers must show proof of a negative test in the 3 days before departure
  • They must also complete a passenger locator form in the 2 days before arriving in the UK
  • Carriers must check both of these for every passenger before they board the plane
  • Passengers are then checked again by frontline airport staff and Border Force upon arrival – passengers arriving without a completed form and negative test face a £500 fine and the airline faces a £2,000 fine
  • If they have been in a red-listed country in the past 10 days, they will be denied entry to the UK unless they have a residency right
  • All passengers must then self-isolate at the place they are staying for 10 days after they arrive – spot checks will be enhanced to make sure people are self-isolating and they may be referred for police action including a fine of up to £10,000
  • Increased checks for those self-isolating and by police at ports and airports

Guidelines for travellers are due be published on GOV.UK and the booking portal will go live on Thursday.

Read the press release for more information.

Photo by Martin Olsen on Unsplash

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