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What you must do to keep Wales safe from coronavirus when arriving from abroad.

First published:
7 June 2020
Last updated:

This guidance applies to people travelling to Wales from outside of the UK.  It is for people arriving directly in Wales and for those arriving at a port elsewhere in the UK and then travelling on to Wales.

Self-isolate when you travel to the UK

If you arrive in the UK on or after 8 June 2020, you will not be allowed to leave the place you’re staying for the first 14 days you’re in the UK (known as ‘self-isolating’). This is because it can take up to 14 days for coronavirus symptoms to appear.

Before you travel, you should provide details of your journey, contact details and the address where you will self-isolate. You will be able to complete the contact detail declaration 48 hours before you arrive in the UK. You must present these details on your arrival into the UK. You can complete the form on GOV.UK.

You will be required to do these things if you arrive on or after 8 June 2020. If you arrive before 8 June or have just arrived in the UK you should check the latest public health advice on coronavirus before you travel. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises against all but essential travel and you should not travel if you have the symptoms of coronavirus.

You may be refused permission to enter the UK (if you are not a British citizen), or fined if you do not to provide your contact details or do not self-isolate when you arrive in the UK on or after 8 June 2020. In Wales, if you do not self-isolate, you can be fined £1,000. If you do not provide an accurate contact detail declaration – or do not update your contact detail form in the limited circumstances where you need to move to another place to self-isolate – you can be fined up to £1920.

Who must self-isolate

These rules are for UK residents and visitors.

You will not need to self-isolate for 14 days if you’re travelling to the UK from within the Common Travel Area, that is:

  • The UK, the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

However, if you arrive in the UK and have been outside the Common Travel Area within the last 14 days, then you will need to self-isolate for the remainder of the 14 day period, starting from when you arrived in the Common Travel Area.

You will also need to complete a contact detail declaration form if you are travelling from the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Island and the Isle of Man and have been outside the Common Travel Area in the last 14 days.

There are other reasons why you might not need to self-isolate. Read the detailed guidance on who does not need to self-isolate. If you are exempt, you will still need to stay local to keep Wales safe.

If you are travelling to the UK for less than 14 days, you will be expected to self-isolate for the length of your stay.

Why self-isolating is important

When you arrive in the UK, it is very important that you stay in your accommodation for 14 days. It can take up to 14 days for you to develop coronavirus symptoms after you catch the virus and in this time you can pass it on to others. Self-isolating will reduce the chance of a second wave of coronavirus in the UK and help prevent family, friends and the community from contracting coronavirus, as well as helping to protect the NHS.

How to travel to the place where you are self-isolating

If you develop coronavirus symptoms when you’re travelling to the UK, you should tell the crew on your plane or boat. They’ll let staff in the airport, port or station know, so they can tell you what you should do next when you arrive.

All arrivals must go straight to the place they are staying when they arrive in the UK.

Only use public transport if you have no other option. Local rules may be different in other nations of the UK, so please check their advice ahead of time if you are travelling.

If you have coronavirus symptoms, you will not be allowed to travel by public transport and will need to demonstrate that the accommodation where you will self-isolate is safe.

If necessary, and you have a long journey within the UK to arrive at your self-isolation accommodation, you can stop overnight before continuing your journey. You must self-isolate and provide the address of your overnight stop on your contact detail declaration form.

How to self-isolate in your accommodation

You should self-isolate in one place for the full 14 days, where you can have food and other necessities delivered, and stay away from others. You must self-isolate at the address you provided on the contact detail declaration form.

This can include:

  • your own home
  • staying with friends or family
  • a hotel or other temporary accommodation

You should not have visitors, including friends and family, unless they are providing essential care. The only friends and family who you can have contact with are those who travelled with you or people who you are staying with.

You cannot go out to work or school or visit public areas. You should not go shopping unless necessary - if you require help buying groceries, other shopping or picking up medication, you should ask friends or relatives or order a delivery.

In Wales, you must only exercise within your home or garden. You cannot leave your home to walk your dog. You will need to ask friends or relatives to help you with this.

See guidance on Getting food and essential supplies during the coronavirus pandemic if you need help in this area.

In Wales, you can only leave your accommodation in limited circumstances. These include where:

  • you need urgent medical assistance (or where your doctor has advised you to get medical assistance) or access to veterinary care for a pet within your and it is not possible or practicable for someone else in your accommodation to do this
  • you need access to basic necessities like food and medicines and you haven’t been able to arrange for another person to get them or they cannot be delivered.
  • you need to access public services such as social services and victim support services that are critical to your well-being and cannot be accessed if you remain on the premises,
  • to attend  the funeral of a family member or a close friend
  • you need to fulfil a legal obligation such as participate in legal proceedings
  • there’s an emergency at the place which you are isolating.

You are not allowed to change the place where you are self-isolating except in very limited circumstances, including where:

  • a legal obligation requires you to change address, such as where you are a child whose parents live separately, and you need to move between homes as part of a shared custody agreement
  • it is necessary for you to stay overnight at accommodation before travelling to the place where you will be self-isolating for the remainder of the 14 days
  • there’s an emergency

If this happens, you should provide full details of each address where you will self-isolate on the contact detail declaration form on GOV.UK. If, in the limited circumstance set out above, you cannot remain where you are staying, you must update the form as soon as possible.

Support to help you self-isolate in your own accommodation

The people you're staying with do not need to self-isolate, unless they travelled with you or you develop the symptoms of coronavirus.

If you cannot safely self-isolate for 14 days, you should tell Border Force Officers when you pass through UK border controls. They will provide you with details of a booking service which you can use to obtain accommodation and self-isolate in at your own expense. Staying at home may be difficult, frustrating or lonely, but there is help available if you are struggling due to coronavirus.

Within your accommodation

The people you're staying with do not need to stay at home, unless they travelled with you. Avoid contact with them and minimise the time you spend in shared spaces, like kitchens, bathrooms and sitting areas.

If you’re staying in a hotel or guest house, you must stay away from others who didn’t travel with you, so it’s important that you don’t use shared areas such as bars, restaurants, health clubs and sports facilities. Stay 2 metres apart from other people staying there at all times.

It is important to avoid contact with other people in your home in order to reduce the risk of transmitting coronavirus. You should stay in a well-ventilated room with a window to the outside that can be opened, separate from other people in your home.

If you can, you should use a separate bathroom from the rest of the household. If you have to share these facilities, regular cleaning will be required after each person has used them. Make sure you use separate towels from the other people in your house, both for drying yourself after bathing or showering and for hand-hygiene purposes.

Washing your hands and keeping good hygiene

Everyone should wash their hands regularly, but this is particularly important for people who have recently travelled to the UK because you could have contracted coronavirus and not yet developed symptoms. Wash your hands frequently with soap and hot water, for at least 20 seconds, rinse and dry thoroughly. Use alcohol-based hand sanitiser if soap and water are not available. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Cover your mouth and nose with a disposable tissue when you cough or sneeze. Dispose of tissues into a plastic waste bag, and immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, rinse and dry thoroughly.

After self-isolating for 14 days

If you do not have any coronavirus symptoms after 14 days, you can stop self-isolating. You will must then follow the rules to stay local to keep Wales safe.

What to do if you get Coronavirus symptoms

You should look for any of the following symptoms in the 14 days after the day you arrive in the UK:

  • new continuous cough
  • high temperature
  • loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

If you have any of these symptoms, you should continue to self-isolate at home. If you are staying with others and you develop symptoms, the whole household that you are staying with will need to begin self-isolating.

You should apply for a test if you have the symptoms of coronavirus. Please see the guidance on testing for more information.

If you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home, or your condition gets worse, or your symptoms do not get better after 7 days, then use the NHS Wales 111 online coronavirus (COVID-19) service. If you do not have internet access, call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.

If you develop symptoms, you must self-isolate for at least 14 days from the point you arrived in the UK and if you get symptoms during that time for at least 7 days from symptom onset, until you are better and no longer have a high temperature. You will need to self-isolate for 14 days from the time that you arrived in the UK even if you have had and recovered from coronavirus symptoms in this time. If you are tested and receive a negative result for coronavirus, you must continue to self-isolate until you have been in the UK for 14 days, even if your symptoms have gone.

If you arrived in the UK more than 14 days ago, you do not need to continue self-isolation once you have had symptoms for 7 days and your temperature has returned to normal.  Symptoms of a cough or changes to your sense of smell or taste can last for several weeks after the infection has gone and so you can stop self-isolating even if you have these symptoms. The household you are staying with should self-isolate for 14 days from the point that your symptoms start.

If you develop new symptoms or your existing symptoms worsen within your 14-day isolation period, then please contact NHS Wales 111 again and follow their advice.

Exemptions

A small proportion of people travelling to the UK to maintain essential supply chains, critical national infrastructure or to contribute to crisis response or other essential government work will not need to self-isolate and/ or complete contact detail declarations. If you are a seasonal agricultural worker, you must remain on the farm where you are working and staying for 14 days. Read the detailed guidance on who does not need to self-isolate

Like everyone in the UK, if you are exempt you should not travel and should immediately self-isolate if you get the symptoms of coronavirus. You must follow the guidance on how to stay local to keep Wales safe.

 

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