Severity: Warning Alert

Exit/Entry: Authorities in England, UK, to tighten COVID-19 restrictions in parts of the country from July 31. Business and travel disruptions ongoing.

  • Alert Begins: 30 Jul 2020 09:24 PM UTC
  • Alert Expires: 21 Aug 2020 11:59 PM UTC
  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Ongoing business and travel disruptions

Authorities in England, UK, will tighten coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions as of July 31 in the Greater Manchester area, the local authority areas of Blackburn, Bradford, Burnley, Calderdale, Darwen, Hyndburn, Pendle, Rossendale, and Kirklees, as well as the city of Leicester. Effective 0001 July 31, indoor meetings between members of separate households will be banned, and only outdoors meetings will be allowed; the previously mandated lockdown of Leicester will be lifted. This measure comes due to an increase in infection rates in the aforementioned areas.

Additionally, effective 0001 July 31, authorities in England and Scotland will impose a directive requiring all travelers arriving from Luxembourg to self-isolate upon arrival due to a recent spike in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) activity in that country. Authorities had earlier exempted travelers arriving from 75 countries and overseas territories, including Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, and New Zealand, and Luxembourg - from a requirement to self-isolate for 14 days upon entering the UK. The exempted countries had been assessed to pose a reduced threat from COVID-19.

All international travelers entering the UK must provide contact details, as well as their travel history over the previous 14 days. International passengers of any nationality arriving by air, rail, or ferry from a nonexempt location are required to self-isolate for 14 days; health officials may perform spot checks to ensure compliance. Persons without suitable accommodations will be required to stay in facilities arranged by the government at their own expense. Freight drivers and healthcare workers are exempt from the requirement. The measures are reviewed every three weeks. Authorities in Scotland have lifted quarantine requirements for travelers from Estonia, Latvia, Slovenia, Slovakia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines as of July 28 following a decrease in COVID-19 activity in those countries.

Nationwide, the UK continues gradually easing restrictions it had implemented to curb the spread of COVID-19, although tighter measures remain in force in some locations. Most nonessential businesses around the UK have reopened; however, they must adhere to strict hygiene practices, including limits on the number of customers in stores in order to maintain social distancing, as well as encouraging customers to use hand sanitizer when entering the premises, among other things. International flights remain limited, but cargo and repatriation services have continued. Public transport services are operating across the country. Precise COVID-19 restrictions, such as social distancing guidelines, vary among England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. Protective face coverings remain mandatory on public transport nationwide and inside shops in Scotland. Authorities continue to recommend residents work from home where possible.

Authorities could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.

Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Arrive at the airport early to prevent your seat from being reallocated to a standby passenger. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

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