Hotel and home quarantine rules for incoming travellers to UK


Hotel and home quarantine rules for incoming travellers to UK

Girl in quarantine

This blog is being updated as and when more information is released

The UK government has confirmed that incoming travellers to England must quarantine in a government-assigned hotel for 10 days. The rule applies to arrivals from 15th February 2021.

Anyone arriving into the UK is already required to have a negative COVID-19 test as outlined in our previous blog.

The information below applies to arrivals and returns into England. 

Countries the rule applies to

Currently the measure applies to all eligible arrivals from the UK’s ‘red list’ countries, which are deemed high risk for COVID-19 variants. View the up to date listThere is already a travel ban in place for non-British citizens and residents who have been in or transited through these countries in the previous 10 days. The only passengers currently able to enter from red list countries are UK and Irish nationals and third country nationals with residence rights in the UK, but they will be subject to new hotel quarantine measures. 

There are a select number of exemptions - see here

What are the rules if I'm flying from a country not on this list? 

See below or click here  

Before leaving

Travellers will have to factor the quarantine time into their work and travel schedule, on top of any restrictions required to the country they are travelling to. Anyone arriving to England and Scotland is already required to have a negative COVID-19 test - see our previous blog.

Anyone required to undergo hotel quarantine will only be permitted to arrival in England via certain points of entry: 

  • Heathrow Airport
  • Gatwick Airport
  • London City Airport
  • Birmingham Airport
  • Farnborough Airfield 

All travellers entering the UK (from outside the common travel area) have to complete a passenger locator form in 48 hours prior to arrival. This form must include: ​​​

  • Proof of a negative COVID-19 test result obtained a maximum of three days prior to departure.
  • A reference number and the name of a test provider, if passengers are using Test to Release end self-isolation early (if eligible).
  • A booking reference for a post-arrival COVID-19 test package, for tests to be taken on days two and eight of isolation.
  • A booking reference for a hotel quarantine package, if passengers have visited a 'red list' country in the last 10 days and do not qualify for a limited number of exemptions to avoid hotel quarantine.


Hotel quarantine bookings

Travellers can book their mandatory hotel quarantine stay through an online platform run by the government. Arriving passengers will be met at the airport and transported directly into quarantine - transport costs are included. There are very few circumstances where you can change the location of quarantine. 



Travellers will be required to take two COVID-19 tests while in quarantine on day two and eight whether they are quarantining in a hotel. This is on top of having to show proof of a negative test result no more than 72 hours before departure to the UK. 

The UK government has confirmed that passengers will not be able to end their managed quarantine early through the Test to Release scheme. More information on testing during hotel quarantine is here


Who pays and what's included

Travellers will be responsible for the cost of their hotel quarantine period; the figure is thought to be approximately £1,750 per person for the entire 10 days. 


Consequences if not followed

Travellers face fines of up to £10,000 if they do not follow the hotel quarantine guidelines. There is a threat of jail if travellers lie about where they have travelled from on their passenger locator form. 


Quarantine rules if you are travelling from a country not on the red list 

All travel corridors have been suspended so travellers arriving in the England from non-high risk destinations (ie countries not on the red list) must self-isolate for 10 days. They can do this at home or if they are staying with friends and family.

Travellers are already required to take a pre-departure test before arriving or returning to the UK. It is also now law to take COVID-19 tests on day two and eight of self-isolating at home. The Test and Release scheme is available for those quarantining at home if they take an additional test on day five - find more information here. The travel test package costs £210 per person and can be booked online


Full guidance for each country: 

Got questions? 

A quarantine helpline number has been set up by the UK government - call 0800 678 1767 for advice.  


Remember home comforts

Travellers heading into a hotel room for a long period of time may be working but may also appreciate some home comforts and support. It’s surprising what can be achieved in a hotel room; did you see the tennis players practising when arrived in Australia for the Australian Open? Here are some suggestions:

  • Schedule regular calls with family, friends and colleagues
  • If you smoke or need some fresh air, you can head outside while escorted by security staff 
  • Find some exercise classes online
  • Pack some activities for your down time
  • Free helplines – call the Samaritans on 116 123 (free 24-hour helpline) for someone to talk to, or call MIND on 0300 123 3393 for advice

Hotel quarantine rules around the world 


Australia 14 - 24 days No - hotel determined on arrival After 14 days. Quarantine extended if traveller refuses test Room service. 1 delivery meal a day can be ordered £1,695 in New South Wales
China 14 days No At airport, a week into quarantine and at end Included in final price. No outside delivery or alcohol £470 - £790
Hong Kong 21 days (14 days if from China, Macau or Taiwan) Yes, before boarding flight At airport, then on 12th and 19th day 3 meals included. Outside deliveries mostly allowed £42 - £178 per night
New Zealand 14 days Yes, before booking a flight Within 24 hours of arrival. Daily health and wellbeing checks. Tests on day 3 and 12 3 meals provided. Delivery allowed £1,633
Qatar 7 days Yes, before flying At arrival and on day 6 3 meals provided £548 - £810
Singapore 14 days Yes, before arrival. Travellers given electronic bracelet or smartwatch to ensure they stay in room Negative PCR test needed, then further tests at arrival and end of quarantine 3 meals included £1,100 plus cost of tests

In these complex and ever-changing times it can be difficult to keep on top of all the varying travel regulations. FCM helps thousands of businesses with information and advice on business travel.

Contact us for any assistance – we’re ready to help.

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