Rules for returning to the UK

Updated 23 February:  Clearly the Great Return Home continues and so I’m updating this post for people to see what is required for their return to the UK. The main link remains THIS one but those below are also still relevant. I repeat that I am not a travel adviser and in any case cannot give official information beyond that which has already been covered in the links provided by the British Government itself. If you remain in need of further clarification after reading the Government’s information you will need to contact your airline or even GovUK direct.

Original post 11 February: It is clear that many longer-term visitors are planning their return to the UK in order to ensure being able to leave Spain before the end of next month due to the 90 day rule. The clock started counting on 1.1.21, the day after the end of the Brexit Transition Period, and so it’s important to be aware of what’s expected in terms of requirements to enter the UK before 31.3.21. Today, the UK Government has updated its travel advice for all arrivals including British nationals as follows … I’ve included the full statement even though the first part of it refers to those in the UK. If you have any questions about this please direct them to GovUK, not me.

Under current UK COVID-19 restrictions, you must stay at home. You must not travel, including abroad, unless you have a legally permitted reason to do so. It is illegal to travel abroad for holidays and other leisure purposes. Check the rules that apply to you in EnglandScotlandWales and Northern Ireland.

If you intend to travel to EnglandScotlandWales, or Northern Ireland from abroad, including UK nationals returning home, you must provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result taken up to 3 days before departure. If you do not comply (and you do not have a valid exemption) your airline or carrier may refuse you boarding and/or you may be fined on arrival.

Before you return to the UK you must provide your journey and contact details. You must self-isolate when you enter the UK from any foreign country except Ireland, unless you have a valid exemption. From 15 February, when entering the UK from a country with a travel ban to the UK, you must quarantine in a government-approved hotel for 10 days. When entering Scotland, the hotel quarantine requirement applies on arrival from all countries except Ireland.

If you are legally permitted to travel abroad, check our advice on your country of destination. Some other countries have closed borders, and may further restrict movement or bring in new rules including testing requirements with little warning.