everything you need to know

On Monday 15 February new travel measures will come into force. Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, has announced that any UK residents returning from the 33 red list countries will need to quarantine in an assigned hotel for ten days and “pay for a quarantine package costing £1,750 for an individual travelling alone which includes the hotel, transport and testing.” 

The booking system to enable this will go live on Thursday 11 February, when the Government will also publish the full guidance. 

Other new measures announced by the Health Secretary include all arrivals into the UK from Monday Monday 15 February will now have to take a coronavirus test on days two and eight after their arrival, as well as provide a negative test within 72 hours before travelling.

Below we detail everything you need to know…

Hotel Quarantine:

  • All those returning to England from one of the 33 red list countries will have to quarantine for 10 days from 15 February.
  • Red list countries will be kept under review.
  • Some reports say that hotel quarantine will remain until end of March but will be reviewed weekly.
  • Travellers will need to book before departure for hotel quarantine which will cost £1750 for a single passenger. That will include the hotel, transport, and testing, though it is unclear if food is included in the price.
  • The online booking portal will open on Thursday 11 February
  • There will be a visible security presence and people will only be allowed outside when escorted by a guard. 
  • The government has booked 16 hotels with 4600 rooms. Those hotels may not be used by other guests. 
  • Further PCR tests will be done on days 2 and 8 and any positive results will be sent for genomic sequencing to look for new variants.
  • If a traveller tests positive they will face another 10 days quarantine from the positive test date.
  • Arrivals from red list countries will only be allowed in a small number of airports, ports, and stations.

Hotel Quarantine:
Rest of the UK

  • Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own slightly different travel rules.
  • Anyone arriving from Scotland from outside the UK, Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and Ireland will need to book and pay for managed isolation in quarantine hotels.
  • All arrivals, including UK and Ireland nationals, will be required to quarantine for at least 10 days and take Covid tests on days two and eight after their arrival.
  • Six hotels close to Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow airports, with a combined capacity of 1,300 rooms, will be used at a cost of £1,750 per traveller.
  • Exemptions will be restricted to only a small number of workers involved in the supply of essential goods coming into the country.

Home Quarantine

  • From 15 February travellers must test on day 2 and 8 of home quarantine as well as 72 hours before departure.
  • Test to release will still be allowed but the day 5 test will be in addition to the further 2 tests on days 2 and eight.
  • All testing will be paid for by the traveller and are expected to cost around £100 each.
  • Travellers must book their tests before they depart via the government portal which will open on Thursday 11 February.
  • If travellers test positive they will face another 10 days quarantine from the positive test date.


  • There will be much stronger enforcement. Carriers will need to ensure that all the necessary tests have been done or booked and paperwork is submitted, or they could be fined.
  • Carriers liable to check passengers meet requirements. Penalty will apply.
  • Passengers falsifying PLF by not declaring being in a red country is now a prison sentence offence.
  • £1,000 passenger fine for not taking a test.
  • £2,000 passenger fine for not taking a second test.
  • £5,000 to £10,000 passenger fine for not completing managed hotel quarantine for red list arrivals.
  • If travellers are proven to have lied on their passenger locator form to conceal that they have been in a red list country, they face up to 10 years in prison.

Red List Countries

  • Angola
  • Argentina
  • Bolivia
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • Burundi
  • Cape Verde
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Ecuador
  • Eswatini
  • French Guiana
  • Guyana
  • Lesotho
  • Malawi
  • Mauritius
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Portugal (including Madeira and the Azores)
  • Rwanda
  • Seychelles
  • South Africa
  • Suriname
  • Tanzania
  • United Arab Emirates (UAE)
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe
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To help you navigate the changes of business travel, we’ve created the brand-new Traveller Toolkit. This invaluable online resource is packed full of easy-to-use guides and checklists for every stage of every journey. We detail exactly what you need to know and do before, during and after your trip.

You’ll also find innovative and interactive virtual trips, which walk you through each step of  being at the airport, on the train and in the hotel. You can even check the travel restrictions and health status of your destination with our comprehensive COVID-19 Country Tracker, updated five times daily to ensure you have the very latest information to help keep you and your travellers safe.

Travel is changing. But with common sense and a good TMC behind you, travellers should have the confidence to once again take to the skies. It’ll soon be business as (un)usual.