NOTE: the rules around quarantine have now changed.
As a result, people are leaving their hotels.
The red list is expanding, and that means if you are reading this, you have either been caught out at the last minute by a change to the rules, or simply want to learn more about what you have to do to visit the UK.
Firstly, the rules differ between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, so this article refers to England and specifically Heathrow as an entry-point. Note you can only arrive in England at the following ports of entry – carriers are not allowed to take you to any other port of entry:
- Heathrow Airport
- Gatwick Airport
- London City Airport
- Birmingham Airport
- Bristol Airport
- Farnborough Airport
- Biggin Hill Airport
Other ports of entry may be added in the future.
Direct flights from red list countries can only arrive at London Heathrow and Birmingham Airport.
If you are travelling to England then you will need to complete a Passenger Locator Form (PLF).
This would be necessary no matter which country you were coming from, and you would need to pre-book a PCR test from a government-approved provider, and include a locator code for the form.
If you are coming from a ‘red list’ country, then before you travel to England you must:
- take a COVID-19 test – you must take the test in the 3 days before you travel to England
- book a quarantine hotel package, including 2 COVID-19 tests
- complete a passenger locator form
You must do this even if you are fully vaccinated.
How much does the quarantine hotel package cost?
It costs £2,285 per person, though for an extra adult sharing a room it is an additional £1,430
- transport to and from your quarantine hotel
- accommodation, food and drink for the whole of your stay
- any COVID-19 tests you need to take while you quarantine
You don’t get a choice of which quarantine hotel you are assigned to. The package arrangements are through CTM – Corporate Travel Management .
Which hotels are on offer?
The rules for international travel changed at the end of November. CTM has a Twitter account which is a useful source of information.
From 4am on 30 November, if you are fully vaccinated and arrive in England you must self-isolate,
take a PCR test before the end of day 2 after you arrive (lateral flow tests will not be accepted) & can leave self-isolation if your PCR test result is negative.
— CTM UK (@TravelCTM_UK) November 29, 2021
On arrival at London Heathrow you will be processed in Terminal 4
The list of hotels in and around Heathrow is:
- Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotel
- Crowne Plaza London Heathrow T4
- Holiday Inn Express London Heathrow T4
- Holiday Inn London – Heathrow M4, Jct 4
This is being expanded, with the Department of Health and Social Care saying on December 6, 2021
“We have doubled the number of hotel rooms available from Monday and will continue to increase availability on a daily basis.”
You can read some stories about staying at the hotels below
How to survive...
Hong Kong has had a strict quarantine in place for some time. We asked Lee Cobaj for her tips