Regulations introducing 14-day quarantine period come into force


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The Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (England) Regulations 2020 introducing a 14-day quarantine period for most people arriving in the UK came into force on 8 June.

Separate sets of regulations apply depending on whether the person is arriving in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, although the rules are mostly the same.

The regulations require people to complete a passenger location form and to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival in the UK, usually in their own home or the home of friends or family members.  Other members of the household do not need to self-isolate unless they, or the individual self-isolating, develop Covid-19 symptoms.

Employers should discuss quarantine requirements with any employees planning any overseas travel for personal purposes before they go.  If the employee is not able to work from home on their return the employer will need to decide what will happen.  Possible options might include a period of unpaid leave, or a period of extended annual leave to cover the self-isolation period.  If they develop coronavirus symptoms then they will become entitled to statutory sick pay.

The government has also published detailed guidance on the regulations, including guidance on exemptions from the quarantine rules.

The quarantine period is due to be reviewed every 3 weeks.  In the meantime the press has reported on plans for a series of "travel corridors" that will mean that people travelling to the UK will not have to self-isolate.  Participating countries could include France, Spain, Belgium, Germany, Norway, the Netherlands, Turkey and Finland.  The introduction of "travel corridors" looks set to come with a traffic light system classifying countries as green, amber or red depending on the number of new cases of coronavirus there and how that could change in the near future.  Those travelling from green and amber countries will not have to quarantine, while those from red countries will.

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