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Quarantine quandary – how to deal with holidays outside the travel corridor

Posted on: July 7th, 2020 by Ginny Hallam

From 10 July, anyone arriving to the UK from abroad (including UK citizens) must quarantine themselves for 14 days upon arrival unless the country they’re arriving from is on the list of countries with a travel corridor exemption (guidance here). Some key workers are exempt from these requirements – details here.

For those employees who decide to continue with holiday plans outside of the travel corridor, what are your options?

  1. Although you’re not going to make a friend in doing so, you are able to cancel an employee’s holiday leave by giving them at least as much notice as the holiday you want them to cancel. Take advice first as taking this action could give rise to possible claims;
  2. If they’re able to work from home, you can ask them to do so during the quarantine period. If you don’t have enough work for them to do from home, you could flexible furlough them and offer them the hours of work you do have available and furlough them for the remaining hours (here’s a reminder of who is eligible for the Scheme);
  3. During the quarantine period they could remain on furlough assuming that the government furlough support is still available. Write to them setting out that they should follow government guidance on quarantine and if they fail to do so they will be subject to disciplinary action;
  4. Unfurlough them and place them on unpaid leave or SSP. Our view is that currently you’re not obliged to pay employees SSP in this situation, although this may change following further government guidance. Confirm in writing that they must comply with government guidance on quarantine (explaining failure to do so may be a disciplinary issue); or
  5. Allow or require them to take all or part of the quarantine time as holiday.

Further government guidance on the quarantine scheme can be found here.


This update is accurate on the date it was sent (08 July 2020), but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.