$13K fine? We shouldn’t have to say this, but please follow travel restrictions if you’re traveling to the UK

Mar 2, 2021

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Here at TPG, we try to stay on top of all of the latest news and trends as they pertain to aviation, loyalty, cruising and other segments of the travel industry. And that includes reporting on the ways that travel has changed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

And with the pandemic, the news and advice regarding travel seems to change daily. But, if you are traveling right now for any reason, it’s incredibly important to follow government rules and restrictions. After all, the rules are there for the safety of everyone and to hopefully get us out of this pandemic.

Sign up to receive the daily TPG newsletter for more travel news and insights!

Since January 2021, the U.K. has been in its third — and hopefully final — national lockdown. As such, all non-essential travel has been deemed illegal, rendering both domestic and international vacations for those looking to leave the country off the table.

And also since January 2021, the government has taken to cracking down on travel. More specifically, it is cracking down at the border. The U.K. now requires that all arriving passengers have to have a negative COVID-19 test result, taken 72 hours at most prior to scheduled departure. All passengers are also required to fill out a passenger locator form prior to departure.

Additionally, England has instituted a list of countries from which non-nationals and non-residents are forbidden from entering if they’ve traveled through one of the 33 banned countries in the past 10 days. And even if a British or Irish national or a third-country national with residency rights in the U.K. is eligible to still travel to England, they will have to pay around $2,400 to spend a 10-day quarantine period in a government-supervised hotel.

Related: Everything you need to know about the UK’s hotel quarantine policy

(Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

All other international arrivals are now required to undergo a 10-day quarantine, following the suspension of the travel corridors scheme. All quarantining passengers are now required to pre-order a COVID-19 test kit before traveling and take a test on days two and eight of their quarantine.

Related: Hotel quarantine, 3 COVID-19 tests and more: Everything you need to know about traveling to the UK

While some consider the moves at the border to be too little, too late, the point is that the government has implemented these restrictions in order to keep the country safe. The rules are there to keep families safe. To keep healthcare workers and essential shop workers safe. To keep you and me safe.

So, the penalties are high for breaking these rules — and rightfully so. The government said that it will punish those who lie on their passenger locator form about where they’ve been with a maximum fine of as much as $13,930 and up to 10 years in prison.

On Tuesday March 2, we saw an example of just that.

Merseyside Police announced that it had issued two fixed-penalty notices to two travelers who “failed to comply with COVID regulations following international travel.” On Feb. 23, a man and woman from Wirral were reported to have evaded quarantine restrictions after returning from Dubai. They reportedly flew from Dubai to a secondary airport before arriving in the U.K. without disclosing they had been in the UAE — a country on the travel ban list.

Related: All 33 countries that are on the UK’s travel ban list

On Feb. 26, after investigating the incident, Merseyside Police issued the duo £10,000 ($13,951) fines each and they were transported to a designated quarantine hotel.

“Strict rules around international travel have been put in place by the government for a reason, and to disregard them in this way is selfish, inconsiderate, and potentially dangerous,” said Merseyside Police Chief Inspector Chris Barnes.

Presumably, the two had to pay the quarantine hotel fee as well — £1,750 (about $2,438) for a solo traveler and £650 (about $905) for the second adult.

“I hope this incident sends out a clear message to anyone considering breaching travel regulations in this way that we will not tolerate it, and you will be dealt with robustly. We are at a crucial point in the pandemic and it’s vital that everyone continues to abide by the restrictions so that we can meet the criteria needed for lockdown to ease,” Barnes said. “By not doing so, you are not only jeopardizing this process, but recklessly putting your health and the health of others at risk.”

We shouldn’t have to say this, but if you’re traveling to the U.K. right now, follow the restrictions. This isn’t about you, it’s about everyone around you.

Soon enough, when we’re equipped with digital vaccine passports and hotel quarantine is a thing of the past, we’re just as looking forward to setting off on that sun-soaked holiday.

Yes, we’re close to the end of lockdown. And yes, it’s been a long and grueling year. But the rules are in place to help us cross that finish line. And the only way we can ensure that is to do so collectively.

Featured photo by Ray Tang/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.