Guidance

Booking and staying in a quarantine hotel when you arrive in England

How to book a place in a quarantine hotel and arrange coronavirus (COVID-19) tests if you're travelling to England from a country on the banned travel list.

This guidance is for people arriving in England who have visited or passed through a country where travel to the UK is banned (sometimes called ‘red list’ countries in the 10 days before their arrival.

You cannot travel to the UK if you’ve visited or passed through a country where travel to the UK is banned in the last 10 days, unless you’re:

  • a British national
  • an Irish national
  • anyone with residence rights in the UK

From 15 February onwards, everyone allowed to enter England who has visited or passed through a country where travel to the UK is banned in the last 10 days must:

  • quarantine for 10 days in a managed quarantine hotel
  • take a coronavirus (COVID-19) test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8 of quarantining
  • follow the national lockdown rules

Providing false or deliberately misleading information when filling out your passenger locator form is an offence punishable by imprisonment.

You could be fined up to £10,000, imprisoned for up to 10 years, or both, if you do not provide accurate details about the countries you have visited in the 10 days before you arrived in the UK.

If you break the quarantine rules you may face a penalty of up to £10,000.

You should follow separate advice if you arrive in:

Travelling from a country that is not on the ‘red list’

You should follow separate guidance if you’re arriving in England and have not been in a ‘red list’ country in the last 10 days.

Hotel quarantine: what it is

Everyone who arrives into England must quarantine for 10 days from the point of their arrival. The day of arrival in England will be treated as day zero.

To stop the spread of potentially harmful variants into the UK, more stringent measures are in place for people who have travelled from or passed through a country on the list where travel to the UK is banned (the ‘red list’) in the last 10 days before arrival.

From 15 February, you must quarantine in a managed quarantine hotel if you’ve travelled from or passed through a country on the list where travel to the UK is banned.

Find more information about what to expect if you’re going into hotel quarantine, including help and support.

Who has to go into hotel quarantine

If you’re a British or Irish national, or third country national with residence rights in the UK and you’ve been in or passed through a ‘red list’ country in the 10 days before your arrival, you will need to quarantine in a managed quarantine hotel, unless you’re exempt.

If you have not been to a ‘red list’ country in the last 10 days you must follow separate guidance.

What you need to do before you arrive in England

Before you travel you must:

  • take a coronavirus (COVID-19) test and get a negative result during the 3 days before you travel. You must take the test in the 3 days before the service on which you will arrive in England departs. For example, if you travel directly to England on Friday, you must take the test on the Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday
  • book a managed quarantine hotel where you will quarantine. Your quarantine package will include your managed quarantine hotel, quarantine transport and your travel test package for COVID-19 tests on day 2 and day 8 of quarantine
  • complete a passenger locator form with details of where you will quarantine when you arrive. You must provide a quarantine package booking reference number to complete your passenger locator form

You will need to agree to pay for, and book, a quarantine package before you complete your passenger locator form and board your return journey to the UK.

The package includes the costs of transport from the port of arrival to the designated hotel, food, accommodation, security, other essential services and testing.

How much you’ll need to pay

Rate Additional day rate (for more than 10 days of quarantine)
Rate for 1 adult in 1 room for 10 days (11 nights) £1,750 £152
Additional rate for 1 adult (or child over 12) £650 £41
Additional rate for a child aged 5–12 £325 £12

For those facing significant financial hardship as a result of this charge, there will be an opportunity to apply for a deferred repayment plan when booking. This is only available if you already receive income-related benefits, and you will be required to pay back your debt to the government in 12 monthly installments.

There will be an additional fee if your quarantine is extended. The additional day rate specified above is applicable for those who have already stayed in quarantine for 10 days.

All package prices will be reviewed before the end of March and may change. While hotels normally set a zero fee for children aged under 3, we are setting this for children under 5 years old because they will not be tested. The proposed zero fee for children under 5 years old will mean that, for now, the government will bear the costs of additional food and drinks consumed by arrivals aged between 3 and 5 years old.

You must not apply for deferred payment if you are not eligible. If you provide false information, or omit key information that has been asked for in your application, you will be committing fraud and liable for conviction.

If you have not arranged a quarantine package prior to your arrival in England, you face a penalty of up to £4,000 and will still have to pay for your quarantine package on arrival.

Where you can arrive

If you’re required to quarantine in a quarantine hotel you can only arrive in England at certain ports of entry. Currently these are:

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

Other ports of entry may be added in the future.

If you have a pre-existing booking to a different port of entry on or after the 15 February it’s your responsibility to change it to one of the ports of entry specified above. After 15 February carriers will not be permitted to carry anyone who has been in a red list country in the previous 10 days to any other port of entry other than those specified.

If you’re required to quarantine in a managed quarantine hotel and do not arrive in England at one of the designated ports of entry, you may face a penalty of up to £10,000 and will be charged for the cost of transportation to the nearest designated port or entry.

Arriving and transport to a managed quarantine hotel

When you arrive in England you will need to provide your completed passenger locator form to Border Force officers alongside your passport and negative COVID-19 test result.

You will be escorted through the airport with other passengers who need to quarantine at a managed quarantine hotel. Your ‘quarantine package’ includes transport to your quarantine hotel (and back to the airport at the end of your quarantine). Please follow signs and instructions for the Managed Quarantine Service.

If you have a car parked at the airport, you will need to extend your parking period and pay the additional charges. If you need assistance with this you can ask for that once you get to your hotel.

Everyone will need to wear face coverings at all times (unless you’re exempt).

A member of staff will make a note of where everyone is sitting on the bus, so that if someone later tests positive for coronavirus NHS Test and Trace will be able to identify who has been in close contact.

You must only travel to your managed quarantine hotel by the transport specified in your quarantine package and not by public or private transport.

At the end of the quarantine period you will be transported to the airport you were collected from when you arrived in England.

If you enter England and intend to continue your journey directly to a country outside of the Common Travel Area (UK, Republic of Ireland, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands) then you do not need to book a quarantine package or enter managed quarantine.

If necessary, you may travel straight from your port of arrival to another port in England to catch a flight, train or ferry going outside of the Common Travel Area, but you must take precautions to prevent the risk of virus transmission. These include:

  • keeping your distance and observing social contact rules
  • washing or sanitising your hands regularly
  • wearing a face covering that covers your nose and mouth (this is required by law unless you’re exempt)
  • planning ahead and avoiding the busiest routes, as well as busy times like the rush hour
  • downloading the NHS COVID-19 app before you travel, if possible, and checking in where you see official NHS COVID-19 QR code posters

Quarantining in a managed quarantine hotel

When you arrive at the managed quarantine hotel you will be required to quarantine in your room for 10 days. The managed quarantine hotel will provide your meals.

It is not possible to select a particular room at the managed quarantine hotel or to seek a higher standard room when you arrive.

You can quarantine with the people you travelled with and hotels will prioritise allocating larger or connecting rooms to families.

If you’re the parent or guardian of an unaccompanied child arriving in England, you can join your child in quarantine.

Visitors

You cannot have visitors in quarantine, including friends or family, unless they’re providing:

  • emergency assistance
  • care or assistance, including personal care
  • medical assistance
  • veterinary services
  • certain critical public services

Deliveries

If you have items delivered to you during the quarantine period (such as food deliveries), they will be brought to the door of your room by the managed quarantine hotel staff.

Staff will try to bring the items to you as soon as possible. However, given the need to maintain compliance with COVID guidelines, deliveries may not be able to be brought to your door immediately when they arrive at the hotel.

Services available in your hotel

The hotel will provide you with information about the services available, including food, laundry and free wifi.

The hotels selected for managed quarantine are able to meet the vast majority of requirements and will be able to accommodate dietary requirements.

Medical care and prescriptions

You will be able to seek medical attention, including for repeat prescriptions and/or if you need to fill a prescription.

Leaving your room

You will only be allowed to leave your room in very limited circumstances including:

  • to travel directly to leave the Common Travel Area
  • to fulfil a legal obligation including attending court or satisfying bail conditions or to participate in legal proceedings
  • to exercise but only with special permission from security. This is not guaranteed
  • in exceptional circumstances, such as:
    • seeking medical assistance where this is required urgently or on the advice of a registered medical practitioner
    • to avoid injury, illness or escape a risk of harm (for example situations such as fire or flooding, or cases where domestic abuse occurs within a group quarantining together)
    • to access critical public services including social services or services provided to victims (for example critical access such as for a child to see their social worker)
    • to access veterinary services where required urgently or on the advice of a veterinary surgeon (no animals other than guide dogs would be in a hotel quarantine)

Visiting dying family members and funerals

You can request permission to leave quarantine for the day if a close family member or member of your household is dying, or to attend their funeral.

You will need permission from security staff to ensure that the arrangements minimise the public health risks. This will include agreeing a specific time with the hotel for returning to your room. You should not leave if you have tested positive for COVID-19 during your quarantine period.

If you’re permitted to leave, you will need to be careful to wear a face covering, wash your hands regularly and maintain social distancing from other people. You should avoid using public transport if possible, and you will be required to return to the hotel on the same day.

Testing in managed quarantine

Day 2 test

You will need to take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 of your quarantine. The day you arrive will be treated as day zero. This first test is designed to help identify any potentially harmful variants of COVID-19 at the earliest opportunity. You will not be allowed to shorten your quarantine period if you receive a negative test result, as you may still develop COVID-19. Tests will be taken in your room in your quarantine hotel.

If you receive a positive result from your day 2 test, you must quarantine for 10 days beginning the day after the test was taken (this means until day 13). If you’re in quarantine with people you’ve travelled with, they will also need to quarantine until day 13.

If you receive a positive result from your day 2 test, you will not be required to take any further tests.

Day 8 test

You will need to take a COVID-19 test on or after day 8, unless you received a positive result from your day 2 test. If you receive a positive test result from your day 8 test you will be required to quarantine until day 19.

If you have quarantined for 10 days and received a negative result to both your day 2 and day 8 tests you may leave the managed quarantine site.

Ending quarantine early

You will not be able to end your managed quarantine early through the Test to Release scheme.

Children under 5

Children under 5 will not need to take the day 2 or day 8 test

If you get symptoms

You should order a test here if you develop at least one of these 3 coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms at any point:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • you’ve lost your sense of smell or taste or it’s changed

Groups

If you’re in quarantine with people you have travelled with, you will need to quarantine when you receive a positive test for 10 days. In a group quarantining together this could mean:

  • person A: receives a positive test result on day 2 so must quarantine to day 13 (no day 8 test)
  • person B: needs to quarantine until day 13 also as a close contact of person A. If they are negative on day 2 they are still required to take a day-8 test. Person B receives a positive test result on day 8 so they will need to quarantine to day 19
  • person C: needs to quarantine until day 13 also as a close contact of person A. If negative on day-2 test, they are still required to take a day-8 test. They receive a negative day-8 test result. Person C still needs to quarantine to day 19 as they are a contact of person B as well as of person A

If someone tests positive, other people in the same room should be moved into another room if there’s space available in the hotel.

If you do not take the tests you may face a penalty of up to £2,000.

Leaving managed quarantine

You will be able to leave quarantine when you have received a negative result from your day 8 test and have quarantined for 10 full days.

If you get a positive result from either of your tests, you will not be able to leave managed quarantine until 10 days have passed from the day after the date of the test.

If, despite a negative test on day 8, you develop new coronavirus symptoms on day 9 or day 10, this would trigger a further test and extended quarantine for 10 days, if the new test is positive.

You will not be able to end your managed quarantine early through the Test to Release scheme.

People who do not need to quarantine

A very small proportion of people arriving in England who have visited or passed through a red list country will not need to quarantine in a managed quarantine hotel or in private accommodation.

See the full list of exemptions.

Circumstances not covered by this guidance

If you’re intending to travel to the UK in the next 7 days and are facing a set of circumstances that are not covered by this guidance, please email you enquiry to dhsctesttrace.customerfeedbackteam@nhs.net.

Please make sure you include your date of travel.

Published 11 February 2021
Last updated 15 February 2021 + show all updates
  1. Added information on additional day rates if you have to quarantine for longer, car parking, funerals and visiting dying family members.

  2. Added a link under 'Who has to go into hotel quarantine' to information about what to expect if you are entering hotel quarantine, including help and support.

  3. Re-inserted link to booking platform as the service is live again.

  4. First published.

  1. Step 1 Plan your trip during coronavirus (COVID-19)

  2. Step 2 Get your passport ready

    You need to have at least 6 months left on an adult or child passport to travel to many countries. Check entry requirements for the country you want to travel to.

    1. Check your passport has enough time left on it for the country you're visiting
    2. Renew or replace your passport
    3. Get a passport for your child
  3. and Check if you need a visa or permit

  4. and Check if you need a permit to drive abroad

  5. and Check how to take your pet abroad

  6. Step 3 Get travel insurance and check if you need vaccinations or inoculations

  7. Step 4 Travel safely and check for travel disruption

  8. Step 5 Going through border control

    You may need to show paperwork such as your passport or visa, or a negative coronavirus test result at the point of entry.

    1. Check the entry requirements for the country you are travelling to or transiting through
  9. Step 6 When you are abroad

  10. and If you are unable to return to the UK

  11. Step 7 Return to the UK

  12. and When you arrive in the UK