Tue | Oct 19, 2021

Immigration Corner | Latest COVID restrictions on travel to the UK

Published:Tuesday | February 2, 2021 | 12:06 AM
John Bassie
John Bassie

Dear Mr Bassie,

What is the present situation with respect to the coronavirus and persons travelling to the United Kingdom (UK) as of 2021?

I would appreciate any insight that you may offer.

– V.E.

Dear V.E.,

It should be noted that there is a list of countries, territories and regions that are on the UK travel corridor list. Persons who are travelling to the UK should be aware that as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19), all travel corridors for those people arriving in England have been suspended.

Normally, persons would not need to self-isolate if they were travelling to England from one of the countries, territories or regions listed on the corridor list; and those persons would have had to spend the last 10 days in one of these places, or in the United Kingdom.

If persons had visited somewhere that was not on the list in the 10 days before arriving in the UK, they would need to self-isolate. Please note that visiting includes making a transit stop. Those persons would still need to complete the passenger locator form before entering the UK. However, it must be noted that with respect to the travel corridor list, all travel corridors were suspended as of 4 a.m. on January 18, 2021. Persons who arrive in England from anywhere outside the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man will need to self-isolate for 10 days.

Travel corridor exemption rules are generally as follows. The Travel Corridor Coronavirus regulations meant that persons must self-isolate for 10 days upon arrival in the UK. This applies to both UK residents and visitors to the UK. Please remember that normally, persons would not have to self-isolate on arrival in England if, during the last 10 days, they have only been somewhere on the travel corridor exempt list, or in the UK.

Persons should be aware that there exists a ‘Test to Release’ scheme. Under the Test to Release for International Travel scheme, people who are returning to England and who need to self-isolate will be able to take a COVID test with a private test provider, to see if they can make an application to end their self-isolation early.

I hope this helps.

John S. Bassie is a barrister/attorney-at-law who practises law in Jamaica. He is a justice of the peace, a Supreme Court-appointed mediator, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a chartered arbitrator and a member of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association (UK). Email: lawbassie@yahoo.com