Entering the UK
Coronavirus (COVID-19) and entering or returning to the UK
If you’re a resident or visitor travelling to the UK from any country, you must provide your journey and contact details. If you do not do this before you arrive it might take you longer to enter the UK.
You’ll also need to self-isolate in the place you’re staying for the first 14 days after you arrive, unless you’re travelling from certain countries or territories.
You may be fined up to £100 if you refuse to provide your contact details. You may be fined more if you break this rule more than once. You may also be fined up to £1,000 if you refuse to self-isolate, or you could face further action.
There are different self-isolation rules and penalties depending on whether you are travelling to:
When you do not need to self-isolate
You may not need to self-isolate for 14 days if you’re travelling from some countries or territories.
You still have to provide your journey and contact details.
These countries or territories are different depending on whether you’re travelling to:
You’ll still need to self-isolate if you’ve visited or made a ‘transit stop’ in the previous 14 days in any country that is not on the list. A ‘transit stop’ is a stop where passengers can get on or off a coach, ferry, train or plane. Your ticket should say if a stop is a transit stop.
The 14 days begin from the date you left that country.
When you do not need to provide your details or self-isolate in the UK
You do not need to complete the form or self-isolate if you’re travelling from one of the following places, and you were there for 14 days or more:
There are other reasons why you might not need to complete the form or self-isolate. Read the list of who does not need to complete the form or self-isolate.
What else happens when you arrive
Your passport or identity card will be checked when you arrive at a UK port or airport to make sure you’re allowed to come into the country. It should be valid for the whole of your stay.
What you can bring with you depends on where you’re travelling from. You must declare to customs:
You and your baggage may be checked for anything you must declare.
Before you leave for the UK
Check what documents you’ll need to enter the UK.
You’re from an EEA country or Switzerland
You can enter the UK with either a valid passport or national identity card issued by an EEA country.
You’re not from an EEA country
You must have a valid passport to enter the UK. It should be valid for the whole of your stay.
You may also need a visa, depending on which country you’re from.
Check if you need a visa to enter the UK.
You may also need a visa if you’re ‘transiting’ or travelling through the UK, for example you’re changing flights at a UK airport.
Applying for a visa
You must apply for your visa before you arrive in the UK.
Travelling with children
You may be asked at the border to prove the relationship between yourself and any children travelling with you, if you do not seem to be the parent, for example if you have a different surname.
You can prove this with:
Before you board
Your ‘carrier’ (for example airline or transport provider) will check your passport and other travel documents. They’ll send this information electronically to Border Force.
You can ask to see the information about you that’s been sent by carriers. You’ll have to pay a £10 fee.
At border control
Your passport or identity card will be checked.
Arriving by bus or coach
You have to leave the bus when you arrive at border control.
Make sure you:
If you’re from an EEA country or Switzerland
You can use the EU/EEA channel to get your passport or identity card checked - this is usually faster than the other channels.
The EEA includes the EU countries and also Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway.
You can use automatic ePassport gates at some airports if your passport has a ‘chip’ on it and you’re 12 or over. If you’re between 12 and 17, you must be accompanied by an adult.
These gates use facial recognition technology to check your identity against the photo in your passport.
If you’re from a non-EEA country
You no longer have to fill in a landing card. Your passport (and visa if you have one) will be checked at border control. You’ll usually be asked why you’re coming to the UK.
Because of coronavirus (COVID-19) there are changes at border control. You cannot currently use the automatic ePassport gates if you’re from any non-EEA country.
You should see a border control officer and follow the UK/EEA immigration lanes if you’re from:
When else you must see a border control officer
You must see a border control officer and get a stamp in your passport if you’re from a non-EEA country and entering the UK:
You cannot get a stamp if you use the ePassport gates. Without a stamp you will not be allowed to carry out the activities you came to the UK to do.
You should see a border control officer and use the UK/EEA channels.
Because of coronavirus (COVID-19) there are changes at border control. You cannot currently use the automatic ePassport gates.
Travelling with a UK biometric residence permit
You’ll have a biometric residence permit if your fingerprints were taken when you applied.
Your fingerprints will be checked at border control - they’ll be checked against the ones stored on your visa document.
If you’re joining or travelling with an EEA or Swiss family member
You should see a border control officer instead of using the automatic ePassport gates.
If you’re refused entry
You’ll be told in writing:
You’ll usually have to leave the UK immediately.
You may be allowed into the UK temporarily (usually for up to a week) but your passport will be taken from you and you must report to immigration officers at set times.
You must co-operate if you’re stopped and asked about your baggage.
If your baggage is checked
Your baggage is usually checked in front of you.
Customs officers keep a record of:
If your things are damaged
You may be offered compensation if your baggage or belongings are damaged during a customs check.
Making a complaint
Layovers and transiting through a UK airport
Passing through a UK airport while on the way to another country is called ‘transiting’. Some travellers call it a ‘layover’.
There are 2 types of transiting:
Find out if you need a UK visa for your layover.
Freight, bus and road transport businesses
The Covid-19 outbreak is the biggest public health emergency in a generation. The United
Information about travel restrictions and impact on transport
The UK Department for Transport has sent a letter outlining COVID-19 response actions that are being taken in relation to road transport:
Temporary and limited relaxation of the enforcement of driving and rest times for the drivers of vehicles transporting essential goods
The UK has notified to a temporary and limited relaxation of the enforcement of driving and rest times for the drivers of vehicles transporting essential goods. This relaxation is granted pursuant to Article 14(2) of Regulation (EC) No 561/2006 and the purpose of this document is to notify the Commission accordingly. It will apply to those drivers involved in the delivery of food, non-food (personal care and household paper and cleaning) and over the counter pharmaceuticals when undertaking certain journeys in England, Scotland and Wales.
Start date: 18.03.2020
End date: 16.04.2020
Further information: https://ec.europa.eu/transport/sites/transport/files/temporary-relaxatio...
Update on Flash info posted on 17 September 2020; 15:30.
Operation Stack on the M20 has been deployed again today as a result of the strike action in Calais.
Operation Stack (Stage 1) has been implemented on the M20 between J8 - J9 coast-bound. The Operation is designed to prevent gridlock while anti-terrorism checks are in place.
All freight traffic heading for the Port of Dover or Channel Tunnel must join Operation Stack at J8 of the M20, where it will be separated into two queues on either side of the coast-bound carriageway.
In order to prepare effectively for Brexit, Dutch stakeholders involved in Brexit, including TLN, have launched a mini-campaign to inform the public of the procedures for transport to the United Kingdom from 1 Janaury 2021.
Digital pre-notification of customs documents will be mandatory at all ferry terminals and most short-sea terminals. Without this pre-notification, trucks will not be allowed to enter the ferry terminal and will be diverted to parking areas.
Attached you will find information in English and German and a YouTube video on how transport to the United Kingdom will work from 1 January 2021.
Dutch website with information on Brexit:
More countries have been removed from the UK Travel Corridor list, this includes France and the Netherlands.
To re-iterate, international drivers who are actively engaged in cross border work ARE exempt from the requirement to isolate, but must still carry the evidence of their status, community authorisation, consignment note and COVID movement documents.
International drivers who have been on holiday and returning to the UK from a country that has been removed (or is not on the list) after 4am Saturday 15th August, WILL have to follow the rules and isolate. Their tourist/holiday maker status supersedes their driver status.
Also, don’t forget that the UK Passenger Contact Locator form STILL needs to be completed by ALL returning to the UK. https://www.gov.uk/provide-journey-contact-details-before-travel-uk
The following countries and territories will be removed from the travel corridor list at 4am, Saturday 15 August 2020:
• the Netherlands
• Turks and Caicos Islands
On 6 July, the UK Home Office published the list of travel corridors from which people arriving into the UK will not have to isolate for 14 days upon arrival, unless they have visited or stopped in any other country or territory in the preceding 14 days. Those arriving in the UK whose journey started from a country that is not on the list will still have to follow the isolation requirements. It is expected that the list will grow as time goes on. Rules on travel corridors will apply from 10 July onwards.
Members are reminded that anyone entering the UK (drivers included) is still required to fill the passenger locator form. In case of multiple entries in the UK within 48 hours, multiple journey can be included in the form. Drivers are still exempt from the isolation requirements.
On 28 June, the Government announced that the HGV Road User Levy, which is applied to HGVs of 12 tonnes or more, will be suspended for a year. The suspension runs from 1 August 2020 to 31 July 2021.
Foreign operators who have already paid the levy as an annual payment will be able to claim a refund for the period 1 August 2020 to 31 July 2021, through their user account. Foreign operators who would normally ‘pay as they go’ will not be charged for use of the UK network between 1 August 2020 and 31 July 2021.
More information can be found here.
UK authorities have provided guidance in several languages about the contact locator form that individuals need to fill in upon entry into the UK territory. Members are reminded that these documents have been drafted to cover all passengers, not only freight drivers. Whilst freight drivers are exempt from the 14-day self-isolation requirement, referred to in the document, they do have to fill in the form.
The following languages are available:
Members are reminded that the locator form can only be filled out online.
Sources: FTA and RHA
Since 8 June, new border measures as well as a 14-day quarantine apply to most arrivals in the UK.
Drivers of goods vehicles and bus/coach drivers are exempt from the 14-day quarantine requirement. Drivers have to demonstrate that their travel into the UK is part of their job. They can do this in a number of ways (e.g., a letter from their employer, a consignment note or the operator licence). UK authorities also confirmed that annex 3 is acceptable proof.
Even though they are exempt from quarantine, drivers will have to fill in an online locator form with their contact details and details of their journey. A recent update now allows drivers to complete the form for multiple journeys to the UK over a 48 hour period. UK authorities have confirmed that they are currently working to further improve the process for hauliers and freight workers, particularly for those travelling to and from the UK multiple times during a one-week period.
Official guidance is available here.
Following the enter into force of measures set out by the UK government earlier this week, members and drivers are reminded of the following:
The UK has introduced new border measures that will be implemented from 8 June:
- Drivers of goods vehicles and bus/coach drivers will be exempt from the new 14-day quarantine requirement that will apply to most arrivals in the UK. Drivers will have to demonstrate that their travel into the UK is part of their job. They can do this in a number of ways, for example a letter from their employer, a consignment note or the operator licence would be acceptable. UK authorities provided an indicative template for a letter from the employer; using this template is not mandatory.
- Even though they are exempt from quarantine, drivers will have to fill in an online locator form with their contact details and details of their journey. Officials confirmed the “address” field will be optional. Drivers can complete the form no more than 48 hours in advance and will have to show either the digital version or the printed version of the form upon arrival at the UK border.
Official guidance is available here.
On 29 May, the British Government advised that the relaxations of the EU driving and rest times rules would cease to apply on 13 May, at 23:59. Therefore, Regulation (EC) 561/2006 fully applies from 1 June at 00:00. The relaxations of the GB driving and rest times rules have been extended to 14 June at 23:59, but will be kept under review. Further information can be found here.
The government has announced new plans for passengers arriving in the UK from abroad. As expected, these introduce new measures at the UK border to guard against a second wave of coronavirus (Covid-19) infections and include 14 days self-isolation for anyone entering the UK, bar a short list of exemptions.
FTA is pleased to confirm that road haulage and freight workers are exempt from the requirements in order to ensure the supply of goods is not impacted. Exemptions also include anyone travelling within the Common Travel Area, covering Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. The Home Office announcement may be found here.
In response to unprecedented pressures on local and national supply chains, the Department for Infrastructure has introduced a temporary and limited urgent relaxation of the enforcement of EU drivers’ hours rules in Northern Ireland. It has also introduced a temporary and limited urgent relaxation of the enforcement of NI drivers’ hours rules in Northern Ireland.
This relaxation began on 23 March 2020 and was due to end on 21 April 2020.
A specific review of the continuation of the relaxations past 21 April 2020 has been conducted and on the basis of the current evidence, a decision has been made to continue with the relaxations (apart from the relaxation on break requirements) until 23:59 on Sunday 31 May 2020.
The Department will keep these temporary arrangements under review and the relaxation may be amended or brought to an end earlier if circumstances change.
The Department would like to remind all transport operators and the customers who influence their practices that:
The current situation is being kept under review and the relaxation may be amended or withdrawn earlier than 31 May 2020 if circumstances change. Operators should use this period to increase resilience.
If any drivers or operators consider that they are being asked to use the relaxation without correct justification then they can email their concerns to email@example.com.
Retrospective checking of the use of these relaxations will take place as necessary, including by the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA).
Please note that the previous relaxation of the EU drivers’ hours rules on breaks (i.e. the requirements for daily breaks of 45 minutes after 4.5 hours driving replaced with a break of 45 minutes after 5.5 hours of driving) was applicable from 23 March 2020 until 21 April 2020 only.
Those wishing to use this relaxation should read the full notice here and must follow its requirements.
Following a recent review of the current relaxation of the enforcement of the driver hours’ rules; which is due to end on 21 April, a decision has been made, based on the current evidence, to continue with the relaxations (apart from the relaxation on the EU break requirements) until 23:59 on Sunday 31 May.
Detailed information has been provided by UK DFT and is available here.
In cases of non-resident drivers becoming unwell with the coronavirus (Covid-19) symptoms while in the UK, the national authorities recommend the following:
1. If emergency/clinical care is needed, an ambulance should be called;
2. The official guidelines must be followed, ie. immediate self-isolation; it is the responsibility of the freight company to safeguard employee well-being and therefore place them in suitable individual accommodation;
3. Foreign nationals can also approach their embassy for assistance;
4. In exceptional circumstances, depending on capacity, it may be possible to arrange accommodation at the London Isolation Centre.
The Department for Transport (DfT) has introduced a temporary and limited urgent relaxation of the enforcement of EU drivers’ hours rules in England, Scotland and Wales. It has also introduced a temporary and limited urgent relaxation of the enforcement of GB drivers’ hours rules in England, Scotland and Wales.
This applies to those undertaking carriage of goods by road in all sectors, between 00.01 on Monday 23 March and 23.59 on Tuesday 21 April (continuation of the relaxation past 5 April is subject to review).
The EU drivers’ hours rules can be temporarily relaxed as follows:
a) Replacement of the EU daily driving limit of 9 hours with one of 11 hours.
b) Reduction of the daily rest requirements from 11 to 9 hours.
c) Lifting the weekly (56 hours) and fortnightly driving limits (90 hours) to 60 and 96 hours respectively.
d) Postponement of the requirement to start a weekly rest period after six-24 hours periods, for after seven 24 hours period; although two regular weekly rest periods or a regular and a reduced weekly rest period will still be required within a fortnight.
e) The requirements for daily breaks of 45 minutes after 4.5 hours driving replaced with replaced with a break of 45 minutes after 5.5 hours of driving.
Drivers must not use relaxation ‘a’ and ‘d’ at the same time. This is to ensure drivers are able to get adequate rest. DfT guidance can be found here.
From Monday 23 March all road user charging schemes in the capital will be temporarily suspended until further notice. This includes the Congestion Charge, the central London ULEZ and the London-wide LEZ.
The Department for Infrastructure (DfI) has issued notification of a relaxation in the drivers' hours rules for Northern-Ireland. This temporary relaxation applies from 00:01 on Wednesday 18 March 2020 and will run until 23:59 on Thursday 16 April 2020. Initially, this will apply for the drivers of vehicles involved in the delivery of food, non-food (personal care and household paper and cleaning) and over the counter pharmaceuticals when undertaking the following journeys:
- Distribution centre to stores (or fulfilment centre).
- From manufacturer or supplier to distribution centre (including backhaul collections).
- From manufacturer or supplier to store (or fulfilment centre).
- Between distribution centres and transport hub trunking.
- Transport hub deliveries to stores.
This exemption does not apply to drivers undertaking deliveries directly to consumers.
Operators are reminded that this relaxation does not excuse them from their duty of care to drivers and that drivers should not be allowed or required to drive whilst tired. Operators seeking to use the exemption should read the DfI notice in detail; this can be found here.
On March 17th, the government has taken new measures, which include advising British nationals against all non-essential international travel.
The advice against non-essential travel is not intended to apply to international and domestic freight transport. Thus, haulage continues under no extra restrictions in the UK officially.
A guidance note on Coronavirus (Covid-19) and freight transport has been published by the UK Department for Transport
Sources: RHA and FTA