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United Kingdom – COVID-19: Opening Travel Corridors

United Kingdom – COVID-19: Opening Travel Corridors

As of 10 July 2020, the U.K. government is easing travel restrictions between England and a number of countries and territories by allowing individuals to arrive in England from a list of over 70 locations without the need to self-isolate for 14 days. Changing the COVID-19 pandemic-related travel restrictions based on geography is referred to as “travel corridors.”

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denise-osterwald

Solicitor, Senior Manager - Legal Services Immigration

KPMG in the UK

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Flash Alert 2020-316

The U.K. government has decided that it is safe to lift the travel restrictions between England and a number of countries and territories. As of 10 July 2020, it is allowing individuals to arrive in England from a list of over 70 locations without the need to self-isolate for 14 days.1

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the U.K. government had implemented regulations 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).)

The lifting of these restrictions based on geography, rather than profession or industry, are referred to as “travel corridors.”

WHY THIS MATTERS

The opening of these travel corridors is welcome news for businesses and their employees who undertake cross-border travel for business purposes. The easing of the travel restrictions and establishment of these travel corridors will have an impact on U.K. residents who have been wishing to travel abroad, providing opportunities for those in the U.K. to visit numerous countries and territories without the need to self-isolate on their return to England. All individuals arriving from the specified list of countries and territories will also no longer need to self-isolate for 14 days. 

The “Travel Corridors”

From 10 July 2020, passengers arriving from the countries and territories listed below are not required to self-isolate on arrival into England. (Information for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be published by the devolved authorities.) This applies to those arriving by train, ferry, coach, air or any other route.

Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man remain exempt as they are part of the common travel area.

The 14 British Overseas Territories (e.g., Gibraltar, Cayman Islands) are also exempt.

Conditions

The travel corridors came into effect on 10 July 2020.

In order 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 isn’t on the list, then he or she 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.2 This applies to both U.K. and non-U.K. residents.

KPMG NOTE

The list of countries remains under frequent review.

Individuals travelling abroad from the U.K. 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 check the relevant country’s specific travel advice3 issued by their government as well as generic travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO).4

FOOTNOTES

1  Secretary of State for Transport, “Travel Corridors: Written statement - HCWS338.”

2  U.K. government "Coronavirus (COVID-19): Guidance and Support" webpage, "Provide your journey and contact details before you travel to the UK."

3  U.K. government "Coronavirus (COVID-19): Guidance and Support" webpage, "Foreign travel advice."

4  Foreign & Commonwealth Office, “Coronavirus (COVID-19): Guidance and Support" webpage, "Travel advice: coronavirus (COVID-19)" (published 4 February 2020, updated 10 July 2020).

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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