Arrivals and Self-isolation Advice


Service changes due to Welsh Fire Break

There are some changes to travelling during the fire break period in Wales. This period runs from 6pm on Friday 23rd October 2020 until  midnight on Sunday 8th November 2020.  As normal, we would advise you to book your arrival services through our website to ensure a smooth arrival.

National Express have stated that they are running with a reduced timetable and limited capacity on buses to enable social distancing as they have been for the last few months. There are no changes following the updated Welsh Government Guidance at the moment, but if this changes we will update our advice.

Transport for Wales Trains have stated to check before you travel as TfW will be running a reduced number of train services and some services may also be changed or be cancelled at short notice.

If you need to make an essential journey between Wales and England, please remember that different regulations and guidance may be in place in the different countries of the UK. 

If coming from a high or very high risk area, only travel if you need to such as for work or education.

We will continue to monitor an update the information on this page as the advice in Wales changes, but we have been assured that travelling to your self-isolation or term time accommodation is allowed under the normal and fire break rules.

BRP collections during the Fire Break will be limited, and you may be asked to provide a reason as to why you need your BRP before 9th November 2020.

Page last updated 22.10.20

Before you travel you need to check that you have the latest information and have ensured that you have undertaken all the necessary steps for your journey.  The guide below is updated as quickly as possible once the UK Government makes changes, but in all cases you should check each of the links in the sections below to ensure no further updates exist.

Its important that you ensure you have followed all the guidance available, and made sure you have read through our pre arrival information. You also need to book your arrival services.  If you have any questions before you leave for the UK, please contact us.

As you will be a student, resident or visitor travelling to the UK, you must provide your journey and contact details. You must complete this form before you arrive in the UK, but you cannot submit the form until 48 hours before you’re due to arrive in the UK.

You will need the following information to complete the form:

  • your passport details
  • the name of the airline, train or ferry company you’re travelling with
  • the name of the company organising your tour group - if you’re travelling as part of a tour group
  • your booking reference
  • the name of the airport, port or station you’ll be arriving into
  • the date you’ll be arriving
  • your flight, train, bus or ferry number
  • the address you’ll be staying at for your first 14 days in the UK
  • details of someone who can be contacted if you get ill while you’re in the UK

If you need assistance filling in the form, please contact us.

You will need to show your completed form when you arrive at the UK border, either by printing a copy, or showing it on your phone. We would advise carrying a paper copy with you in your hand luggage so that you are not reliant on electronic devices.

The government will use this information to contact you if you or someone you’ve travelled with develops coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms.

Some travellers will not need to complete the form. If you have stayed in Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for 14 days and are now travelling to the UK, you will not need to complete the form, but may need proof of your stay in these areas. There are very few other reasons why you might not need to complete the form - if you think you may be exempt for another reason, please see the information on exemption.

Before you board your flight, your ‘carrier’ (for example airline or transport provider) will check your passport and other travel documents. They’ll send this information electronically to the UK Border Force. You can ask to see the information about you that’s been sent by carriers, and you will have to pay a £10 fee.

Your passport or ID card will be checked on arrival and should be valid for the whole of your stay. If you need a visa, you will also need to show this. Your visa will be in the form of a vignette (sticker) in your passport for first entry or starting a new course, or will be your BRP if you are returning to the UK to continue your course.

Because of coronavirus (COVID-19) there are changes at border control. You cannot currently use the automatic ePassport gates if you are from any non-EEA country.

You should see a border control officer and follow the UK/EEA immigration lanes if you are from:
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Japan
  • New Zealand
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • United States

Please also see a border control officer and get a stamp in your passport if you are from a non-EEA country and entering the UK:

  • on a short-term study visa up to 6 months
  • on a permitted paid engagement
  • to accompany or join your EEA family member
  • applying as a non visa national for entry at the border (please contact us for further advice if you intend to do this)

You cannot get a stamp if you use the ePassport gates. Without a stamp you will not be allowed to carry out the activities you came to the UK to do.

You may be asked at the border to prove the relationship between yourself and any children travelling with you, if you do not seem to be the parent, for example if you have a different surname (family name).

You can prove this with:
  • a birth or adoption certificate showing your relationship with the child
  • divorce or marriage certificates if you’re the parent but have a different surname from the child
  • a letter from the child’s parent giving permission for the child to travel with you and providing contact details if you are not the parent.

When you arrive in the UK, you will not be allowed to leave the place where you’re staying for the first 14 days you’re in the UK (known as ‘self-isolating’). This is because it can take up to 14 days for coronavirus symptoms to appear.  Students who fly into England will need to travel to Wales upon their arrival and then self-isolate in Wales following the advice below.

If you, or people travelling with you, are travelling to the UK for less than 14 days, you will be expected to self-isolate for the length of your stay.

If you’re travelling from an exempt country you will not need to self-isolate. You should check the list of exempt countries before you travel. This list is regularly updated so please check as close to travel as possible.

If you travel from an exempt country but have been in a country that is not exempt within the last 14 days, you will need to self-isolate for the remainder of the 14 days since you were last in a non-exempt country.

Please note: Wales has additional information for those arriving in the UK.  It is important you check the How to self-isolate when you travel to Wales information from the Welsh Government.

A transit stop is a stop where passengers can get on or off your mode of travel. It can apply to coaches, ferries, trains or flights.

If your journey involves a transit stop in a country or territory not on the self isolation exempt list you will need to self‑isolate on your return to Wales if:

  • new passengers get on
  • you or other passengers get off the transport you are on and mix with other people, then get on again.  This includes you getting off one plane and mixing with other passengers in the airport and then getting on your next flight.
You don’t need to self‑isolate if during your transit stop in a non-exempt country or territory:

  • no new passengers get on
  • no-one on-board gets off and mixes with people outside
  • passengers get off but do not get back on

If at any point you have questions or concerns, you can contact the Immigration and International Student Advice team for help and support.