UK Opens Borders June 8; Requires 14-day Quarantines

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The United Kingdom will welcome international travelers again on June 8. All arrivals from abroad will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days. Violators will be subject to fines and criminal prosecution. 

Upon arriving in the UK, passengers will need to provide contact and travel information so that authorities can track them should infections occur. Expect regular spot checks throughout the 14-day quarantine period to ensure compliance. In England, violating quarantine is punishable by a £1,000 ($1,217) penalty and/or by prosecution. In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, authorities can set their own enforcement protocols and fines. 

UK Border Force may refuse entry to any foreign citizen who cannot or will not comply with the protocols. During self-quarantine, travelers cannot accept visitors unless they are providing essential support and they should not go out to buy food or other essentials if they can rely on others for assistance. Quarantine is at the travelers’ expense. 

Travelers who are only transiting the UK by air on route to other destinations (and who do not have to pass border control) are exempt from the self-isolation requirements. Anyone planning to travel to the UK should visit the US Embassy’s website (uk.usembassy.gov/covid-19-coronavirus-information) regarding screenings and information on opened and closed terminals and services at London’s Heathrow Airport, Gatwick Airport, Luton Airport and Stanstead airport and London City airport. It also offers information on car and rideshare services that are still operating and hotels. Most hotels remain closed until further notice, and bars and restaurants at airports may be closed also. Services remain limited. 

UK authorities hope to reach a Step 3 status by July (depending on conditions and scientific advice), which will allow for the re-opening of at least part of the hospitality industry and other public places. For the most current information on traveling to the UK visit the UK government’s website at www.gov.uk/coronavirus and www.gov.uk/uk-border-control.

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