United Kingdom – Travel Corridors Update, Denmark Travel Restrictions, Policies for England
United Kingdom–COVID-19: Travel Restrictions Update
This GMS Flash Alert provides an update on new travel restrictions and other rules related to movement of people due to the coronavirus. The report covers alterations to the ‘travel corridor’ policy, limitations on travel into and out of Denmark, and restrictions on movement of people within, into, and out of England.
This GMS Flash Alert provides an update on new travel restrictions and other rules related to movement of people due to the coronavirus. For example, starting on 5 November 2020, heightened national travel restrictions are being applied to individuals residing in England. The U.K. government has confirmed that individuals in England must remain at home and avoid travel in the U.K. or overseas, unless travel is required for work, education, or other legally permitted reasons.
In addition, we report on updates to the U.K.’s travel corridors and restrictions on travel from Denmark.
WHY THIS MATTERS
The easing or re-imposing of the travel restrictions through additions to and removals from the travel corridors list, travel bans, and national restrictions affecting U.K. residents travelling abroad and nonresidents travelling into the United Kingdom. All this could cause some anxiety, stress, and inconvenience, especially where plans for travel and relocation are already underway.
Individuals should be particularly aware of the consequences of non-compliance with the new policies, which could result in sanctions, an interruption in travel plans, and the disruption of planned business and leisure travel activities.
Travel Corridors Update
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the U.K. government implemented regulations in June requiring visitors to the
U.K. to self-isolate for 14 days. The regulations included various exemptions allowing individuals to travel to the U.K. without having to self-isolate, based on profession or industry, as well as those travelling from Ireland, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man. (For prior coverage, see GMS Flash Alert 2020-271 (5 June 2020)).
By July, the U.K. government lifted travel restrictions between England and several countries/territories and from 10 July 2020, began allowing individuals to arrive in England from these locations without the need to self-isolate for 14 days. The lifting of these restrictions on a country- and territory-specific basis, rather than profession or industry, are referred to as “travel corridors.” (For prior coverage, see GMS Flash Alert 2020-316 (16 July 2020).)
The “Travel Corridors”
The table below shows the countries included in the “travel corridor” list1. Passengers arriving from these countries/territories will not be required to self-isolate on arrival into England (information for Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland is published by the Devolved Authorities). This applies to those arriving by train, ferry, coach, air, or any other route:
Akrotiri and Dhekelia
British Indian Ocean Territory
the Canary Islands
the Channel Islands
Greece (including Crete, Lesvos, Mykonos, Santorini, Serifos, Tinos and Zakynthos)
the Isle of Man
Taiwan (Rep. of China)
To make use of the travel corridors, individuals arriving in England must not have travelled to a country that is not included on the travel corridor exemption list within the last 14 days. If a traveller has been to a country that is not on the list, then they will need to self-isolate until 14 days have passed since leaving that country.
Those arriving in England must continue to complete a passenger locator form prior to arrival. This applies to both U.K. and non-U.K. residents.
Travel Ban Implemented for Arrivals from Denmark
Since 4:00am, Saturday, 7 November 2020, non-U.K. nationals (or residents) arriving from Denmark have not been permitted entry into the United Kingdom. This excludes freight and hauliers.2 The decision was made in response to the Danish health authorities reporting widespread outbreaks of coronavirus (COVID-19) in mink farms with a modified strain of the virus spreading to some areas.
British nationals, or residents, returning to the U.K. directly or indirectly from Denmark will need to self-isolate along with all other members of their household until 14 days following their return has lapsed. No exemptions apply to this restriction.
This travel ban and extended self-isolation requirements will be reviewed.
New National Travel Restrictions in England from 5 November 2020
Increased national travel restrictions have applied to individuals residing in England from 5 November 2020. The U.K. government has confirmed that individuals in England must remain at home and avoid travel in the U.K. or overseas, unless travel is required for work, education, or other legally permitted reasons.3
Despite these increased restrictions, individuals can travel for the following exempt reasons:
- travelling to work where it is not possible to work from home;
- travelling to education and for caring responsibilities;
- travelling to visit individuals who are in an individual’s support or child-care bubble;
- hospital, GP, and other medical appointments or in instances where medical assistance is required because of accidents or health concerns;
- to buy goods or services from premises which are classed as essential retail have been permitted to remain open;
- to spend time outdoors or exercise outdoors – whilst this should be done locally where possible, travel is permitted to gain access to open outdoor areas if necessary;
- to attend to the needs of a pet, including veterinary services.
Individuals must not travel if they are experiencing any coronavirus symptoms, are self-isolating, are sharing a household or support bubble with somebody who is displaying symptoms, or have been informed to self-isolate via the NHS Test and Trace app. The minimum fine for breaching self-isolation rules is £1,000 and increases up to £10,000 for repeat offences and serious breaches.
For individuals who need to travel, the safer travel guidance4 should be adhered to.
Individuals planning to travel into England, should check the current travel corridor list to see whether self-isolation is required. The national travel restrictions for England will still need to be adhered to even where self-isolation is not required. Individuals who need to travel overseas from England before 2 December should inform themselves of COVID-19 rules in place at their destination country and consider the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) travel advice.5
U.K. residents who are currently abroad should check with their airline or travel operator for arrangements on returning to the United Kingdom.
Individuals travelling abroad from the U.K., for an exempt purpose, will also have to comply with any travel restrictions or requirements in place in the country to which they travel. This could include self-isolation, providing travel details to the authorities or other measures.
When travelling out of the U.K., all individuals should continue to check the relevant country’s specific travel advice issued by their government, as well as generic travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.
Visit KPMG’s COVID-19 Tracker6 for a global perspective on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on global mobility.
The KPMG Legal Services – Immigration Team has a wealth of experience in transactional, advisory, and compliance assurance services. We will be able to advise your business in relation to practical considerations in light of the above changes, as well as what this means for your long-term recruitment and compliance strategies.
* Please note the KPMG International member firm in the United States does not provide immigration or labour law services. However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.
The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in the United Kingdom.
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