UK Boarders: Do I Need to Quarantine?

What are the latest quarantine rules for overseas students planning to attend a boarding school in England for the start of the new academic year?
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This article is part of an editorial series on Covid-19

International students from who attend independent schools in England may need to quarantine before they can enter the classroom for the start of term in September. WhichSchoolAdvisor rounds up the latest rules and regulations for all overseas students planning to fly into the UK.

Will I need to quarantine when I arrive in the UK?

Different restrictions apply to students arriving from overseas based on the UK government's traffic light system. Countries are sorted into three categories: Red List (high-risk), Amber List (moderate-risk) and Green List (low-risk). The countries on each list, and the conditions attached, can change at any time so students should check here for confirmation before flying.

Can I still fly into England from a Red country?

The UK has introduced travel bans for arrivals from Red countries. However, British and Irish Nationals can enter the UK if they have been in or transited through a Red country in the last 10 days, but they must quarantine for 10 days; this includes anyone with a student visa.

In March, the Department of Education changed the rules to allow students coming from a Red country to attend an independent school in England to quarantine in boarding houses rather than government hotels,.

Students attending a boarding school in England from or through countries including South Africa, Brazil and Portugal can self-isolate for 10 days in accommodation provided by their school. 

At the airport, students must show a copy of the letter from the Department for Education to their school confirming that boarding school students are covered by this exception to the standard quarantine rules. Students must also present a negative test result taken three days before they travel, and they then take tests on day two and day eight of their quarantine.

What are the quarantine rules if travelling from an Amber country?

Anyone travelling from or through an Amber country must self-isolate immediately in their own accommodation for 10 days when they arrive in the UK; have proof of a negative Covid-19 test; and take a test on Day 2 and Day 8 of their quarantine. There are exceptions if travelling from the US and EU countries. 

Do I need to quarantine if I fly from a Green country?

No. All arrivals from a Green country do not need to self-isolate or quarantine but they must have proof of a negative Covid-19 test, and take a test on Day 2 after arriving.

Boarding school students who are ordinarily resident in the UK, including those who are unaccompanied and who are attending boarding schools on a child student visa or student visa, who have travelled from or through Amber List countries (and have not been in a Red country in the previous 10 clear days), are exempt from the requirements to quarantine and take a Day 8 test.

Do I need to take a Covid-19 test before I fly?

Yes, all arrivals must have proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken within three days of departure. Children aged 10 and under are exempt from this. All students, incoming those aged five to 17 years must take a Covid-19 travel test on or before Day 2 after arriving in England.

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