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Covid-19: Do you qualify for travel exemption?

With new track and trace practices which are being adopted by the UK Government to help prevent a new peak in COVID-19 related cases, the Home Office has issued new guidelines on travel and self-isolation requirements and exemptions. 

On 28 September 2020, the Border Force, UKVI and Department for Transport endorsed that individuals travelling from Ireland, the Isle of Man, and Channel Islands (Common Travel Areado not have to complete the passenger locator form or self-isolate if they have remained in the CTA in the last 14 days. However, this exemption will not apply to individuals who are travelling from the CTA but have visited or made a transit stop overseas.  

If you live in England, you must self-isolate if you have been in any of the countries listed in the Travel Corridor list. 

Diplomatic and Privileged Individuals 

If you are a member of the Diplomatic Mission, representative of international organisations, representatives at an international or UK conference granted privileges and immunities; you will not need to complete the passenger locator form. You may also be exempt from self-isolation if the purpose of your travel is to undertake work which cannot be completed whilst self-isolating. However, although your family members or other dependents will be able to travel with you, they must self-isolate after they arrive in the UK. To ensure smooth entry at the UK Borders, you must carry with you an exemption letter issued by the FCDO or Protocol Directorate.  Specific advice can be found here. 

Regular Work Abroad 

If you are a UK resident but are regularly engaged in overseas work, you may be exempt from self-isolation. 

This will only apply if: 

  1. You are a resident of England, Wales or Northern Ireland; 
  1. You travel abroad for work at least once a week 
  1. You are able to produce evidence of your residence and work. 

UK workers who reside Abroad 

If you are resident outside the UK but you work here and travel between your country and the UK at least once a week, you must continue to complete the passenger locator form. You are exempt from self-isolation unless you work and stay in Scotland.  You must be able to evidence your circumstances when requested to do so. 

Other Jobs that qualify for exemption 

You may not need to self-isolate, or relaxations may apply to you if you travel abroad, but you work in the following fields: 

  1. International Bus and Coach Drivers; 
  1. International Drivers of goods vehicles; 
  1. Individuals in airside transit; 
  1. Civil aviation inspectors; 
  1. Aircraft pilots and crew; 
  1. Eurotunnel, Channel Tunnel and Network Rail workers; 
  1. Seamen, masters and inspectors or surveyors of ships; 
  1. Seasonal agricultural workers; 
  1. Water suppliers and sewerage service workers; 
  1. Specialist technical workers – goods & waste (including construction, commissioning, installation, maintenance, and repairs and safety check); 
  1. Specialist technical workers - power and space infrastructure; 
  1. Offshore oil and gas workers; 
  1. Essential nuclear personnel & emergency responders; 
  1. OPCW, IAES and Euratom inspectors; 
  1. Specialist aerospace engineers; 
  1. Downstream oil facility workers; 
  1. Postal workers involved in the transport of mail into and out of the UK; 
  1. Individuals arriving to attend pre-arranged treatment in the UK; 
  1. Individuals arriving to transport human and veterinary medicines; 
  1. Sponsors and essential persons needed for clinical trials or studies; 
  1. People involved in essential maintenance and repair of data infrastructure; 
  1. IT and telecoms workers; 
  1. People engaged in urgent or essential work on electronic communications networks; 
  1. BBC’s broadcasting transmission network and services; 
  1. International prison escorts; 
  1. Workers engaged in essential or emergency works on behalf of the Environment Agency relating to flood and coastal erosion risk management; 
  1. Film and television production; 
  1. Domestic and International elite sportspersons; 
  1. People who represent organisations which are participating in the fourth National Lottery Licence competition; 
  1. Government contractors; 
  1. Advertising Productions; 

All the above must continue to complete the passenger locator form before their arrival in the UK. Specific advice for all the above can be found here. 

Disclaimer: No material or information provided on this website should be construed as legal advice. Readers should always seek appropriate professional advice to resolve their Legal Matters.
About the Author
Annamaria Zeka

  Annamaria Zeka

Anna joined the firm in 2019 as an Associate and has quickly become an integral part of our team, where she uses her extensive knowledge in personal immigration cases to assist clients.

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