England has published its list of countries from which passengers do not need to enter quarantine. Passengers from Ireland, the Channel Islands, The Isle of Man and all British Overseas Territories are also exempt.
If passengers have been in any other country not on the list in the previous two weeks, then a 14 day self-quarantine still applies. Notably this includes passengers from Canada, the US and most of Central and South America. It’s also worth noting that if a passenger is a citizen of one of the exempt countries but has travelled to a non-exempt country in the past 14 days, they will still be subject to the 14-day self-isolation requirement when arriving in England.
All travellers need to complete a passenger locator form before they arrive in the UK (except if coming from Ireland, the Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man). You cannot submit the form until 48 hours before you’re due to arrive in the UK.
Air crew are exempt from quarantine but they still need to complete the same locator form and show their ID. Read the official government guidance here. The wording suggests that positioning crew will also be exempt from the quarantine rules as well, as the definition of “crew” is defined as follows:“Crew, as defined in paragraph 1 of Schedule 1 to the Air Navigation Order 2016(h), where such crew have travelled to the UK in the course of their work.”
Pending government approval, authorities at EGLL/Heathrow Airport have said they may be able to allow some passengers to arrive from non-exempt countries and bypass the 14-day quarantine by providing Covid testing on arrival – although there are no firm plans for this yet.
Operators headed to the UK still need to adhere to the updated General Aircraft Declaration process that was introduced back in May. You can view the full government-issued guidance here, but here’s how it works:
First off, there’s a little speech you need to make prior to letting your pax off the plane. The UK government has written the script they’d like you to read – wash your hands, don’t touch your face, that kind of thing. Here it is:
All inbound flights must also file a General Aircraft Declaration (GAD), confirming that they’ve got no symptomatic pax on board. Here’s a copy of this form, which you can download from the UK government site:
The Health Control Unit at Heathrow are the people you need to send this GAD to (firstname.lastname@example.org) – as well as the local authorities at whichever airport you’re flying to. Here’s how it’s supposed to to work:
- Carriers are required to complete the General Aircraft Declaration process, with notification of any potentially symptomatic passengers while in flight, a further update within two hours of arrival, and handover of the GAD to the local airport operator and PHE prior to disembarkation. All this may trigger further protocols once you are on the ground.
- Emergency medical attention will always supersede any public health intervention – if you or a passenger needs an ambulance on arrival, follow SOPs for a medical emergency.
More on the topic:
- More: Covid impact on North Atlantic diversion airports
- More: London Luton now available for night flights again
- More: The diversion dilemma over London
- More: Dubai to London – which way is best?
- More: Just about nowhere to land in London at night this summer