Q1: If someone says on their locator form that they will elect to have the five-day test — is this followed up to see if they do actually do so? If so, who by whom?
A1: No. It is up to the individual whether they decide to go through with taking a test once it’s booked and they have indicated as such on the Passenger Locator Form (PLF). If individuals provide incorrect or misleading information, including in relation to opting in to “Test to Release”, on the PLF they are subject to a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) of £100.
Only a negative test from a private provider which meets the minimum standards will enable a traveller to cease self-isolating early — if they decide not to take the test and do not self-isolate, the fixed penalty notice payable for a first offence is £1,000, and increases to £2,000, £4,000 and then £10,000 for subsequent offences.
Q2: Does test and trace get a notification from [the people who receive the locator forms] that they should receive Mr X’s test results by [date]? What happens if those results are not received?
A2: No. Private providers are legally required to report all test results to PHE as COVID-19 is a notifiable disease. These results, along with the contact details of the individual in question will be passed to Test and Trace from PHE.
Q3: Could you explain more about who is going to “inspect” compliance?
A3: Individuals who opt in will be required to self-isolate until they receive a negative test result. Compliance checks are carried out by Public Health England’s Isolation Assurance Service (IAS) who contact randomly sampled international arrivals to ensure that they are self-isolating. Details of those suspected not to be isolating will be passed to the Home Office, who in turn pass relevant details on to the police for targeted follow-up enforcement activity.
Anyone who does not comply with this requirement could be fined £1,000 for the first offence and up to £10,000 for repeat breaches. Only a negative test result from a private provider which meets the minimum standards will enable a traveller to cease self-isolating early.
Q4: Could you explain more about who is going to enforce this — if Mr X is found out in a pub on day four how would [the police] know that he should be in quarantine?
A4: As with the existing enforcement regime for international arrivals, and in addition to the enforcement outlined above, in response to reports from members of the public about individuals not self-isolating, the Police can request information about that individual’s PLF to ascertain whether they should indeed be self-isolating. This will equally apply to those who opt in to Test to Release. As part of compliance investigations, the police may request confirmation of the international arrival’s test result, to decide whether they must still self-isolate.
Test providers must, on request, provide a constable with the following information:
Q5: If the Q code at a pub identifies Mr X as out and about, will the test and trace system identify that he has been out of the country and should be in quarantine and alert someone? How joined up and intelligent are these systems?
A5: No. The NHS App is not linked up with the PLF database.
Q6: Although there is a system and penalties for non-compliance - what is not so clear is how delinquents are to be identified — so could you please explain to the Committee how compliance is to be monitored and ensured.
A6: Test to Release will be enforced through a system of encouraging compliance in the first instance, followed by enforcement activity where needed.
We have amended the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Public Health Information for Passengers Travelling to England) Regulations 2020 to require transport operators to provide information on Test to Release at the booking and check in stages, as well as 24-48 hours before travel. This will ensure that passengers are made aware of the scheme and its requirements at the earliest stage in their journey, and are reminded at subsequent stages.
Only a negative test from a private provider which meets the minimum standards will legally release an individual from self-isolation early. A negative test result from an NHS test will not legally release an individual from self-isolation early.
Individuals are only legally permitted to take a test on or after the 5th day after the date they last left a non-exempt country, which for most arrivals will be 5 days after the date they arrived in England. They will be required to self-isolate until they receive a negative test result from a private test provider which meets the minimum standards.
Compliance checks are carried out by the IAS who contact randomly sampled international arrivals to ensure that they are self-isolating. Details of those found not to be isolating will be passed to the Home Office, who in turn pass relevant details on to the police for targeted follow-up enforcement activity.
Anyone who does not comply with the requirement to self-isolate could be issued an FPN in the amount of £1,000 for the first offence and up to £10,000 for repeat breaches.”
Q7 Do you have figures for compliance with the existing 14-day isolation requirement (or at least how many fines have been issued for non- compliance compared with the number of incoming passengers from relevant countries)?
A7: Processing by the ACRO Criminal Records Office up to the 16 November shows that 223 FPNs have been issued by police forces in England to those failing to self-isolate after arriving from a country not on the Travel Corridor list.
Further details can be found at the link below:
Self-isolation requirements came into force from 8 June 2020. The monthly air arrivals into the UK for the months from June are as follows:
It is worth noting the following caveats about these numbers:
Further detail can be found on the link below:
3 December and 4 December 2020