As borders reopen following the temporary disruption caused by COVID-19, governments are seeking ways to welcome back travellers whilst minimising the possibility of further outbreaks.
The UK government recently announced new measures which will allow overseas visitors to enter the country once again. Travellers are now required to complete a new passenger contact form prior to departure and self-isolate for 10 days on arrival.
This means that, in addition to acquiring a UK tourist visa or other relevant permit, additional steps must be taken before heading to the United Kingdom.
Visitors can find out more about the new contact form below, including the information required, how the data will be used, plus advice regarding UK coronavirus quarantine rules.
What is the new public health passenger locator form for?
The information provided on the contact locator form will be used by UK authorities, should they need to communicate health-related information to the traveller urgently.
Specifically, individuals will be contacted if someone they have travelled with develops coronavirus symptoms. The details may also be used to check that visitors are following the mandatory 10-day self-isolation period.
The form can be completed no sooner than 48 hours before the time of arrival in the UK. The contact details will only be used for health-related purposes.
The passenger public health form is being introduced to protect the health and safety of residents and visitors in the UK. In this way, the new form is similar to the eTA UK, which is expected to come into effect in 2021, the aim of which is also to boost safety and security.
How to obtain a public health passenger locator form for the UK
Travellers can obtain the passenger locator form when submitting a UK EVW application through this website. Applicants can simply add this option when processing the visa waiver payment.
Passengers are sent a QR code which they should print out and show on arrival at the UK border along with their passport and relevant UK visa, if applicable. The QR code may also be displayed on a mobile device.
Authorities have warned that refusal to provide the contact information will result in a £100 ($124.30 USD) fine.
Visitors who do not require the visa waiver can obtain the form through the UK government website.
Who needs a travel health certificate for the UK?
The passenger locator form is required of all travellers arriving in the UK from overseas, regardless of nationality. Even individuals who will spend just a short time in the UK need to complete the form.
There are very few exceptions to the requirement, anyone who believes one of the exemptions listed below may apply to them is advised to check with UK authorities before departure.
The UK government has set up a special form and self-isolation helpline: +44800 678 1767.
Exemptions to the UK contact locator form requirement
Visitors to the UK who have spent the 10 days prior to departure in one of these places, do not need to complete the contact locator form:
- The Isle of Man
- The Channel Islands
Other travellers and their families who are also exempt from submitting the form include:
- Members of diplomatic missions and consular posts in the UK
- Representatives of international organisations
- Representatives of a foreign country or territory and of British overseas territories on official business in the UK
- Defence personnel required for essential defence activities
- UK and non-UK officials for essential border security services
Information required to complete the UK passenger locator form
To successfully complete the new passenger locator form, travellers should have the following information to hand:
- Passport details
- Airline, train, or ferry company name
- Tour group name, if applicable
- Name of the port of entry
- Date of arrival in the UK
- Booking reference
- Flight, train, bus, or ferry number
- Address in the UK
- Details of someone who can be contacted if necessary
If arriving by Eurostar or Eurotunnel, passengers should write this instead of the train number. These individuals should also provide their scheduled departure time.
Regarding groups of travellers, every person must complete a separate contact form online.
Do children need to complete the UK passenger locator form?
Anyone under the age of 18 does not need to fill in a form, providing that they will arrive and leave with the same adult and stay at the same address.
The details of the minor should be included on the adult’s contact locator form as indicated. If visiting Scotland, only children under the age of 16 can be included on an adult’s form.
Do I need a new public health form each time I travel to the UK?
Travellers making several trips to the UK need to complete a new public health locator form before each trip.
Multiple journeys may only be included on one form if they are taking place within a 48-hour period.
UK coronavirus quarantine rules
Most travellers arriving in the UK from overseas are required to self-isolate for 10 days. Only people arriving from the UK ‘travel corridors’ list are exempt from the quarantine requirement.
The list is reviewed and updated regularly, it is important to check the latest UK travel restrictions before departure.
What are the consequences of breaking UK quarantine?
It is expected that most people will follow the rules as part of a collective effort to control the coronavirus. Nevertheless, fixed £1,000 ($1,243) penalties are in place for anyone who fails to self-isolate on arrival.
Fines have been introduced to help ensure that the guidance is followed. Self-isolation is considered key to the UK’s recovery plan at this stage.