Last reviewed 18 January 2021

From 4am on 18 January 2021, due to concerns over new strains of the coronavirus potentially entering the UK, the Government has now taken steps to remove travel corridor options for travellers.

From 18 January, the following applies across all four nations:

  • anyone flying into the UK from overseas (including UK nationals) will have to show proof of a pre-departure negative Covid test before setting off, then

  • people will need to quarantine for up to 10 days, unless they test negative after five days.

Employees returning from any overseas travel must self-isolate in line with the above. While current guidance is clear that non-essential travel should be avoided, some organisations may still have sent staff abroad for businesses purposes and will, therefore, need to take steps to respond to this.

It should be noted that individuals in this situation do not have the right to statutory sick pay (SSP), meaning organisations will need to determine how they are going to cover this period of self-isolation.

Those working from home already should still be permitted to do so, while those who are currently at the workplace could be permitted to work from home temporarily if possible. If this is not an option for the individual in question, organisations may instead agree to let them take the time as annual leave, or unpaid leave. It should be remembered that employees shouldn’t be furloughed just because they are self-isolating.

In order to plan for this situation, organisations may consider cancelling pre-booked business travel plans. For any employees who were considering travelling overseas for personal reasons, they may now also seek to cancel any associated leave. Organisations do not need to agree to cancel this leave, however they should consider whether refusing to do so may cause ongoing issues with employee relations.