How to self-isolate when you come to the UK
The UK changes their travel updates regularly. People who arrive from exempt countries do not need to self-isolate when they arrive in the UK. But, many countries are on the so-called ‘red list’, and people who arrive from those countries need to spend 14 days in self-isolation.
How to check whether or not you need to self-isolate?
Everyone who arrives in the UK will need to complete the public health passenger locator form 48 hours before arrival. You may have to show that document if requested when arriving in the UK.
However, not everyone needs to self-isolate. There is a list of exempt countries that are excluded from the mandatory 14-day-isolation period. You will nonetheless, have to be careful when travelling and start self-isolation if you experience any of the COVID-19 related symptoms (new continuous cough, high temperature, loss or change to your sense of smell or taste).
Taking a test and getting a negative result does not exempt you from self-isolation.
What does self-isolation mean?
Self-isolation means staying away from other people for 14 days. That can include staying in your own accommodation, staying with friends or family, or staying in a hotel or other temporary accommodation.
During that 14-day period you should not have visitors, including friends and family, unless they are helping you to get the food, medication, or other emergency assistance.
If you have no friends or family to help you get the necessary groceries, you can always order a delivery (Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Iceland, major supermarket chains all provide food delivery) or contact NHS Volunteer Responders if you need help collecting shopping, medication or just need something to chat and talk to. Call 0808 196 3646 (8am to 8pm) to arrange volunteer support.
You can only leave your accommodation in limited circumstances such as urgent medical assistance, you need to access critical public services (in exceptional circumstances), you need to go to the funeral of a family member, you need to visit someone who is in need of critical care, or there’s an emergency.
You shouldn’t change the place of where you are self-isolating, except in limited circumstances such as you need to stay overnight at accommodation before travelling to the place where you will be self-isolating for the remainder of the 14 days.
If you’re sharing accommodation, the people you’re staying with do not need to stay at home, unless they travelled with you. That means if you’re staying in a hotel, or live in a shared accommodation, you need to stay 2 metres apart from other people staying in your accommodation at all time during those two weeks. Remember to regularly wash your hands and avoid touching your nose, eyes and mouth, even in the case if you don’t have to self-isolate but your flatmate has to.
What happens after those two weeks?
If you do not have any Coronavirus symptoms after 14 days, you can stop self-isolating. You will have to stay alert and follow the recent news and rules related to the Coronavirus pandemic. You can always check OK Student social media pages, where all major updates are published.