Coronavirus (COVID-19): travel from 'non-red list' countries

Self-isolation following international travel from non-red list countries is a legal requirement and an important measure to reduce the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). You should only leave self-isolation in an emergency.

Permitted reasons for leaving self-isolation

During self-isolation, you must not leave the place where you are self-isolating except in the following circumstances:

  • to leave Northern Ireland, provided you do so directly, and do not have coronavirus symptoms or have tested positive for COVID-19
  • to seek medical assistance*, where this is required urgently or on the advice of a registered medical practitioner, services from dentists, opticians, audiologists, chiropodists, chiropractors, osteopaths and other medical or health practitioners, including services relating to mental health
  • to access urgent veterinary services, however you should ask a family member or a friend who are not self-isolating to take the animal in the first instance, before you leave isolation
  • to fulfil a legal obligation, including attending court or satisfying bail conditions, or to take part in legal proceedings, however you should tell the relevant personnel that you are self-isolating, they may be able to arrange alternative virtual meetings instead
  • to avoid injury or illness or to escape harm
  • on compassionate grounds including to attend a funeral of household member, family member or a friend in certain circumstances
  • to move to a different place for self-isolation specified on a Passenger Locator Form 
  •  to access critical public services, including social services and services provided to victims (such as victims of crime)
  • in the case of a minister of religion or worship leader, to go to their place of worship alone and stay alone there
  • to exercise alone or with household members
  • to visit a burial ground to pay respects to a household member, family member or friend providing they are doing so alone
  • to carry out mandatory post-arrival testing
  • in exceptional circumstances such as:
    • to move to a different place for self-isolation where it becomes impracticable to stay at the address at which they are self-isolating
    • to get basic necessities such as food and medical supplies for those in the same household(including any pets or animals in the household) where it is not possible to get these goods in any other way

You could ask a family member, neighbour or friend to get these for you.

Alternatively you can contact the COVID-19 community helpline:

You should not leave self-isolation if you have any symptoms of COVID-19, even if very mild. If you do leave you should:

  • at all times maintain a strict two  metre social distance
  • wear a face covering
  • use your own transport

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