Any changes for inbound passengers arriving into the UK – September 2020?

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  • MartynSinclair

    My only experience of an airport over the past 6 months is an isolated day trip to Glasgow in August (from Heathrow), just as the Covid19 figures were beginning to improve. Apart from that, my only current knowledge is:

    ** People I know who travel (very few)
    ** This forum
    ** Press

    The question I have; Have any changes been implemented for inbound passengers arriving into the UK during the airport arrival process or does it remain, as before, as being OPEN FOR ALL – unrestricted?

    Last weekend – I had 3 clients arrive from Belgrade whose journey started in Serbia. All were non UK citizens. They tried to find someone to ask about quarantine / self isolation on arrival (Luton) and the only assistance they received was, “go online to the FCO website” – when they asked what ‘FCO’ was they received a shrug of shoulders. Their online questionnaire was not even asked for, checked or commented on.

    At Heathrow, a friend who works for security (armed) says they are fighting a losing battle. Zero face covering enforcement, passengers ignoring requests to use face coverings and social distancing in the arrivals hall, virtually non existent. passengers totally oblivious about quarantine / self isolation – they know as they are being asked.

    I know there have been BT editorials about the testing facilities at Heathrow and also the implementation of temperature controls for all arriving passengers in T2, but have ANY of these been implemented?

    Self isolation (aka as quarantine UK style) is mainly down to passenger honesty and I wonder if the threat of a possible financial penalty if caught avoiding self isolation when needed, will have any effect, of course on the basis passengers know when they have to isolate.

    All very well saying people need to risk assess for themselves, but individual risk assessment can still affect others.

    Of course there are some who say arriving passengers from India, Iran, USA, who are able to simply walk through Heathrow, will not affect the infection rate – perhaps…. but in a country where personal freedoms are about to be further restricted, where face coverings are now mandated by LAW, it seems bizarre that the gateways to the UK, still remain open and free for all with honesty to observe current laws and requirements, being the prime requirement.

    I wish everyone a safe few weeks and hope 2020 will bring good health to all.

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    The situation at Heathrow, from the early encouragement of potentially infected UK citizens to return to the UK without any checks or quarantine to the current pathetic system for arrivals from the US, India an other places with massive covid infection rates can only be viewed as total farce. Looks like the government planned Heathrow would provide the UK with biggest infection rate possible as being easier than trying to mitigate the pandemic.

    1 user thanked author for this post.


    Hi Martyn

    So, I flew back from Croatia into EDI at the end of August. Our government had changed the status of Croatia from “ok to go” to “not ok to go” the day we flew out. So, upon return we had to quarantine for 2 weeks, because we chose the wrong dates.

    We had to fill out the requisite online form and show the border control agent the email and the attached certificate indicating that the form had been completed. Once he’d done the check, checked my passport then it was time to go get luggage and proceed 100% as normal. Zero checks.

    As luck would have it, we both work from home so was no issue isolating, but there was not a single check either at the door, by email or by phone. I did only give my mobile number though as I never give out my home number to anyone. So, the process for us was 100% voluntary and 100% unenforced, the latter just as I suspected it would be.

    Hope that helps.


    Sounds similar to what is happening in the US. Granted, I haven’t arrived from abroad, but my home airport – JFK – is stringent in checking questionnaires. It’s an honor system, really. I’ve known people traveling from “hot” states (Florida, Texas) and bypass quarantine (smh). From what I’ve read, our airports don’t conduct temperature checks for intl arrivals – even if they do, it doesn’t mean much since a passenger can be asymptomatic.


    No changes I am aware of.

    At London City I had my FCO form checked, at Heathrow I used the eGates so it wasn’t part of the process.

    There was temperature screening entering and leaving Terminal 3.

    I never had any follow up in my quarantine period.

    Social distancing clearly wasn’t working at Heathrow or arrival, then again I didn’t realistically expect it to so effectively accepted that as part of the travel package.


    My experience last week largely consistent.

    Terminal 5 departures and arrivals – cannot criticise the sanitation side as good social distancing, excellent availability of gel stations and very good (voluntary compliance) of face masks. But no temperature checks and on arrivals several flights arriving from “high risk countries” (eg Spain, Croatia) at the same time as air corridor flights.

    Very disappointing process with health form – no checks anywhere. Whereas when you fly to Italy the airline collects the forms before you disembark and then won’t let you on the plane on departure without filling in the Italian form. Puts the UK to shame.

    I am fed up with the quarantine policy; no action from government and when you write to politicians and officials and if you get a response, they ignore your points and just defend policy. I have lost business by not being able to travel to countries on the quarantine list because I cannot quarantine when these countries have lower infection rates than the UK.

    Testing the only way ahead, if government listens…..

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