COVID-19: What to know before traveling to the UK
While many countries are trying to recover from the coronavirus pandemic by welcoming tourists, measures are expected to be put in place to ensure that travels to the country do not jeopardise its efforts in fighting the virus.
The United Kingdom has reopened its Visa Application Centers in Ghana and other countries where local restrictions allow. Though the coronavirus pandemic did not cause a change in the process of obtaining a visa to the UK, only persons who have to travel at all cost would be in a position to travel due to certain restrictions that would either require travellers to spend more money, stay longer, or both.
Let’s have a look at some of the things to do and note before travelling to the UK.
Provide Journey and Contact Details
To avoid any inconveniences; delays or unforeseen events, travellers to the UK are to provide their contact and journey details before the arrival in the UK. These details are to be submitted within 48 hours before you are due to arrive in the UK.
The UK uses the details provided by travellers for contact tracing should a traveller who arrived in the country tests positive for coronavirus.
The following details are required to fill the form:
- your passport details
- the name of the airline, train or ferry company you’re travelling with
- the name of the company organising your tour group – if you’re travelling as part of a tour group
- your booking reference
- the name of the airport, port or station you’ll be arriving into
- the date you’ll be arriving
- your flight, train, bus or ferry number
- the address you’ll be staying at for your first 14 days in the UK
- details of someone who can be contacted if you get ill while you’re in the UK
The form must be completed online, and it’s free.
After submitting the journey and contact details, print a copy of the confirmation sent to your email, you will need to show it when you arrive at the UK Border.
More information on how to submit your journey and contact details can be found on the UK Government official website.
Prepare to self-isolate
Aside from persons exempted from border rules in the UK, all other persons arriving in the UK are to self-isolate for 14 days. According to the UK self-isolation guidelines, you are not to leave the place where you are staying for 14 days.
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have separate advice on self-isolation.
In England, if you do not self-isolate, you can be fined £1,000. If your address changes within the self-isolation period and you do not update your contact detail form, you can be fined up to £3,200.
With all the above, it means tourists should prepare to spend more than two weeks in the UK. Most tourists spend a week abroad and spending two weeks just for self-isolation means you should be ready to let go more than two weeks for a vacation.
If you are staying at a hotel, it means your self-isolation is going to cost you more than your intended budget for the holiday. Travels would definitely be reserved for only persons who have to travel at all cost.