Who Is Exempt from the 14 Day Coronavirus Quarantine Period?
As part of the public health measures to guard against a second wave of coronavirus infection, from 8 June 2020, most travellers to the UK, including British citizens, will be required to spend 14 days in self-isolation. A breach of self-isolation will be punishable with a £1,000 fixed penalty notice in England or potential prosecution and unlimited fine. But who is exempt from the 14 day coronavirus quarantine period?
The 14-day coronavirus quarantine period
The Home Secretary has announced that from 8 June 2020, most passengers arriving in the UK will be required to self-isolate for 14 days.
All arriving passengers will be required to provide details of their self-isolation accommodation. If this does not meet the necessary requirements, travellers to the UK will be required to self-isolate in facilities arranged by the government.
Self-isolation means that once a person arrives at their accommodation they should not leave it for 14 days. They should not go to work, school, or public areas, or use public transport or taxis. They should not have visitors, including friends and family, unless they are providing essential support. They should not go out to buy food or other essentials where they can rely on others.
Public health authorities will conduct random checks in England to ensure compliance with self-isolation requirements.
Removal from the country will be considered for foreign nationals who refuse to comply with the 14-day coronavirus quarantine period.
There is currently no end date for the 14-day coronavirus quarantine period, but the requirement to self-isolate will be reviewed every three weeks, to ensure it remains effective and necessary.
The government is also looking at further options to remove the need for quarantine measures for incoming passengers, such as air bridges (agreements between countries who both have low transmission rates to recognise each other’s departure screening measures for passengers).
List of places exempt from the 14-day coronavirus quarantine period
If you are looking for information on which countries are exempt from the UK travel quarantine, you may like to read our updated (3 July 2020) post on this topic:
List of persons and occupations exempt from 14-day covid-19 self-isolation period
The following persons and occupations will be exempt from the requirement to spend 14 days in self-isolation on arrival in the UK:
- road haulage workers and road passenger transport workers;
- transit passengers, an individual transiting to a country outside of the Common Travel Area, who remains airside and does not pass border control;
- individuals arriving to attend pre-arranged healthcare treatment, when receiving that treatment in the UK (Healthcare means all forms of healthcare including mental and physical health. There are also exemptions for live donors and those accompanying the individual, for example a carer or a child);
- registered health or care professionals travelling to the UK to provide essential healthcare, including where this is not related to coronavirus;
- persons who have travelled to the UK for the purpose of transporting, to a healthcare provider in the UK, material which consists of, or includes, human cells or blood which are to be used for the purpose of providing healthcare;
- qualified persons and responsible persons for human medicines, clinical trials and pharmacovigilance;
- quality assurance inspectors for human medicines;
- sponsors and essential persons needed for clinical trials or studies;
- civil aviation inspectors engaged on inspection duties;
- Eurotunnel train drivers and crew, Eurotunnel Shuttle drivers, freight train drivers, crew and essential cross-border rail freight workers operating through the Channel Tunnel;
- Euratom inspectors;
- workers engaged in essential or emergency works, related to water supplies and sewerage services;
- workers engaged in essential or emergency works related to a generating system, an electricity interconnector, a district heat network, communal heating, automated ballast cleaning and track re-laying systems or network;
- workers undertaking activities in offshore installations, upstream petroleum infrastructure, critical safety work on offshore installations and wells that are being decommissioned or which are being preserved pending demolition or reuse or activities for the provision of workers, goods, materials or equipment or in the provision of other essential services required to support the safe operation of activities;
- workers engaged in essential or emergency works, including those carried out by specialist rail maintenance technicians employed on the national rail infrastructure as part of a specialist team with Network Rail;
- drivers and crew of trains operated by Eurostar International Limited, essential cross-border workers working for Eurostar International Limited;
- operational, rail maintenance, security and safety workers working on the Channel Tunnel system;
- workers with specialist technical skills, where those specialist technical skills are required for essential or emergency works or services (including commissioning, maintenance, and repairs and safety checks) to ensure the continued production, supply, movement, manufacture, storage or preservation of goods;
- workers with specialist technical skills, where those specialist technical skills are required for essential or emergency works (including commissioning, maintenance, repairs and safety checks) or to fulfil contractual obligations or warranty specifications in, or in connection with, waste management facilities used for the management, sorting, treatment, recovery, or disposal of waste (including energy from waste);
- workers with specialist technical skills, where those specialist technical skills are required for essential or emergency works to ensure the continued safe and secure operations of the following infrastructure:
- gas and electricity transmission and distribution networks and system operators
- gas terminals
- space infrastructure
- seamen and masters;
- pilots, as defined in paragraph 22(1) of Schedule 3A to the Merchant Shipping Act;
- inspectors and surveyors of ships
- crew, as defined in paragraph 1 of Schedule 1 to the Air Navigation Order 2016(h), where such crew have travelled to the UK in the course of their work;
- nuclear personnel who are essential to the safe and secure operations of a licensed nuclear site;
- nuclear emergency responders;
- agency inspectors;
- inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, specialist aerospace engineers, or specialist aerospace workers;
- persons engaged in operational, maintenance or safety activities of a downstream oil facility that has a capacity in excess of 20,000 tonnes;
- postal workers involved in the transport of mail into and out of the UK;
- persons involved in essential maintenance and repair of data infrastructure required to reduce and resolve outages, or in the provision of goods and services to support these activities;
- information technology or telecommunications professionals whose expertise is required to provide an essential or emergency response to threats and incidents relating to the security of any network and information system and ensure the continued operation of any network and information system;
- persons who are engaged in urgent or essential work on electronic communications networks;
- persons who are engaged in urgent or essential work for the BBC’s broadcasting transmission network and services;
- seasonal agricultural workers who have an offer of employment for seasonal work to carry out specific activities in edible horticulture on a named farm (You can start work immediately but you must self-isolate on the farm. However, you may mix with fellow workers);
- members of diplomatic missions and consular posts in the United Kingdom, officers, servants or representatives of international organisations where their head of mission or equivalent has certified that their work is essential to the functioning of the mission and cannot be undertaken whilst the person is complying with the requirements of self-isolation;
- crown servants or government contractors returning to the United Kingdom who are either:
- required to undertake policing or essential government work in the United Kingdom within 14 days of their arrival;
- have been undertaking policing or essential government work outside of the United Kingdom but are required to return temporarily, after which they will depart to conduct policing or essential government work outside the United Kingdom (Essential government work includes, in particular, work related to national security and immigration, the coronavirus disease and any other crisis response, and international negotiations);
- international prison escorts – persons designated by the relevant Minister under section 5(3) of the Repatriation of Prisoners Act 1984(a);
- persons responsible for escorting a person sought for extradition pursuant to a warrant issued under Part 3 of the Extradition Act 2003 or sought for extradition pursuant to any other extradition arrangements;
- defence personnel and contractors doing work necessary for the delivery of essential Defence activities, including Visiting Forces and NATO;
- officials required to work on essential border security duties;
- persons who reside in the UK and who pursue an activity as an employed or self-employed person in another country to which they usually go at least once a week.
Exemption from data collection
The following categories of persons will not be required to provide contact or journey details on their arrival in the UK:
- members of diplomatic missions (non-UK) and consular posts in the United Kingdom, officers, servants or representatives of international organisations and their families or dependents;
- defence personnel and contractors – required to deliver defined essential Defence tasks, including visiting forces or NATO;
- officials required to work on essential border security duties
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