Do I need to isolate in a hotel if I go to UK from France?

Different parts of the UK have different rules. Only Scotland requires travellers coming directly from France to stay in a quarantine hotel

17 February 2021
Heathrow airport in London. There are strict rules for international travellers entering the UK at the moment due to the Covid-19 pandemic
By Connexion journalist

Reader question: I have been working in France for the past year and I am moving back to the UK for good next week. Does that mean I will need to book an expensive stay at a quarantine hotel?

Short answer: Depends where you are going in the UK

Some parts of the UK have introduced a system of mandatory quarantines in government  specified hotels for some incoming travellers but rules in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales vary.

For travel to England, only people coming from “red zone” countries - this does not include France - must quarantine in one of the specially designated hotels. All others must self-isolate at their chosen location for up to 10 days so this is the case for people coming from France.

See a list of “red zone” countries here. 

If you are travelling from a red zone country and wish to enter Wales you must first pass through England or Scotland and abide by the appropriate quarantine rules there.

All travellers entering Scotland, except those coming from the Common Travel Area (CTA) -  Great Britain, Republic of Ireland, Isle of Man or Channel Islands - must isolate in a designated quarantine hotel for 10 days upon arrival.

There is no hotel quarantine system in Northern Ireland but all travellers must self-isolate for 10 days if they are coming from a country outside the CTA.

England

As France is not considered a “red zone” country, anyone travelling directly from France to England (without stopping off in a red zone country), will not need to book a stay in a quarantine hotel.

They will have to self-isolate at their chosen location for up to 10 days. Before travelling they will need to book two Covid-19 tests, to be taken on or before day two and on or after day eight of quarantining. 

There is a system to allow people to exit self-quarantine after five days if they test negative for Covid-19. You are still obliged to take the two pre-booked Covid-19 tests. 

Find out more about this early release system here and find out more about entering England in general here

Wales

Anyone arriving in Wales from France will have to follow the same procedure as listed above for travelling to England and so will not need to book a stay in a quarantine hotel but will need to abide by the self-isolation and Covid test regulations.

You can read more about that here

Scotland

Everyone entering Scotland from outside the CTA - this includes France - must book a stay in a quarantine hotel. There are a limited number of exemptions to this, for example, for international prison escorts and diplomats. 

Anyone arriving in Scotland from France must also take a Covid-19 test on days two and eight of their quarantine. 

The cost of a package stay in a quarantine hotel in Scotland, which includes food, transport to the hotel and the two Covid-19 tests, is £1,750. 

Find out more about the rules and booking a stay in a quarantine hotel here. 

Northern Ireland

Any traveller entering Northern Ireland from outside of the CTA must self-isolate in their chosen location for 10 days.

There is no obligation to book Covid-19 tests to be taken during this period. However, travellers from France will be required to present the results of a negative Covid-19 test upon departure from France. 

Northern Ireland does not currently have a system set up for exiting quarantine early, but the government has stated that one similar to in England and Wales will be introduced.

You can read more about the rules here.

Read more:

I am British living in France. Can I go to UK to see family?

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