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The UK Government has come to the aid of travellers who cannot afford the fees associated with managed quarantine and testing or those who will suffer severe financial hardship if they are to pay for the full cost. Applicants may be eligible for a loan, fee waiver, or fee reduction. Before one applies for financial support, they should first make every effort to make finance pay for their managed quarantine and testing fees. You could get a loan, including from friends and family, using a credit card or overdraft.

In a document published in GOV.UK, authorities stated that they expect applicants to first to take all reasonable steps to try to pay for the cost of managed quarantine or testing themselves before they apply for hardship arrangements.


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A managed quarantine facility for 1 adult in 1 room for 10 days (11 nights) is £2,285. Persons who arrive in the UK without a reserved room may be fined up to £4,000. So it will important to make sure that your hardship arrangements have been approved before arriving in the UK, else you would be liable to the same fine.

Find out who is eligible and how to apply.

Hardship arrangements: Eligibility

Who is eligible for financial support for managed quarantine and testing fees?


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Hardship arrangements are only available if your travel is for essential purposes and if you do not already have existing hardship arrangements in place.

Essential travel includes:

  1. work (where you’re returning from work that could not be completed in the UK)
  2. education (including for students coming to study in the UK)
  3. urgent medical treatment (where it cannot reasonably be obtained in the UK) and
  4. compassionate reasons (for example, where you’ve been to visit a close family member who is dying or critically ill, to attend the funeral of a close family member, or to avoid injury or illness or escape the risk of harm)

You are also to provide evidence that you have exhausted all means of obtaining financial support available to you. These means include getting a loan, including from friends and family, using a credit card, or overdraft.


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Hardship arrangements are only available to UK citizens or individuals with residency rights (for example, international students who possess a student visa).

You may be eligible for hardship if one or more of the following apply:

  1. you have a household income of under £13,800
  2. you and your household have no (or limited) savings
  3. you have dependents and significant care-related expenses
  4. you’re on income-related benefits
  5. you’re above state pension age and are on a fixed income

If your household income is less than £13,800 and your household’s savings are less than the cost of your managed quarantine and testing fees, you’ll be eligible for some form of hardship arrangement. If your household income is higher than £13,800 you may still be eligible for hardship, but you’ll need to provide additional evidence to support your application, such as details of your essential outgoings.

Who is not eligible

You will not be eligible for hardship (unless exceptional circumstances apply) if:

  1. you have an income over £50,000 or a household income over £62,400
  2. you or your household have savings that could be used to pay for the cost of your managed quarantine or testing
  3. you’re able to take out a credit card or loan to pay for the cost of your managed quarantine or mandatory testing
  4. your travel is not for essential purposes
  5. you have existing hardship arrangements in place
  6. If you have savings

Savings include:

  1. money at home, in the bank, in a building society or in a credit union account
  2. premium bonds or investments such as shares

Any savings that can be accessed within 14 days must be used to pay for your managed quarantine or testing fees upfront.

If you have savings that will take longer to access (up to 90 days), you must take steps to access these before you travel and use these to pay your fees as soon as your savings are available.

If you have enough savings to pay for part of your managed quarantine or testing, you must use these first and apply for hardship arrangements for the remaining amount.

How to apply for hardship arrangements

To apply for hardship arrangements if you plan to travel:

before 9 October 2021, phone Corporate Travel Management (CTM) on +44 (0)20 7429 9983
on 9 October 2021 or after, complete this form and we will contact you to discuss your application before you travel

When to apply for hardship arrangements

You must apply for hardship arrangements at least 14 days before you’re due to arrive in England.

If you’re travelling at short notice, you’ll need to explain your situation when you apply.

What information you’ll need to provide

You’ll need the following information when you apply:

  1. details of your income and your household’s income
  2. details of your benefits (if applicable)
  3. details of your savings and your household’s savings
  4. a phone number and/or email address to contact you
  5. your passport number
  6. your date of travel
  7. the number of people travelling

If you normally live outside the UK, you must convert your savings and monthly income into pounds sterling (GBP) using the current exchange rate when making your application.

What happens after the application?

After applying for hardship arrangements, your application will be assessed. What will be considered includes:

  1. your income
  2. your savings
  3. your access to credit and/or loans
  4. whether your family or friends can lend you the money
  5. your family circumstances, such as whether you have children or are a carer
  6. your essential living costs, such as rent

If you’re part of a couple (or live with your family), we’ll take your partner’s and family’s financial situation into consideration when assessing your eligibility. You must give details of their savings and income during the application process.

If you’re eligible, we’ll tell you what hardship arrangements are available to you, including whether you’ll receive a deferred payment plan, fee reduction, or fee waiver.

If you’re told you’re eligible for a deferred payment plan, you’ll discuss how much you will be expected to pay each month and for how long. You can choose to accept or decline these arrangements. If you decline these arrangements, you will need to book and pay for managed quarantine or testing before you can travel to the UK.

What happens after having hardship arrangements approved?

After you are found to be eligible for hardship arrangements, you would be required to repay some or all of your fees in monthly instalments based on a repayment plan offered you.

In exceptionally limited circumstances, you may be eligible for a fee reduction or fee waiver.

When the arrangements have been agreed upon, you’ll need to provide Qualco with your bank details for your repayment plan. (Qualco is our debt management partner.) Under the repayment plan, the first instalment will be taken within 30 days and subsequent payments will be made on the same day each month. You’ll be able to choose the day of the month.

If you have savings that take longer to access (up to 90 days), you must use these to pay your fees once you’re back in the UK. Failure to do so will result in debt collection action being taken against you.
Reviewing your circumstances

If you’re granted a repayment plan, your circumstances will be reviewed every 6 months.

If you cannot pay the agreed amount each month, your repayments may be reduced and the timeline for your repayment lengthened.

If your financial circumstances change before your review, you’ll need to phone Qualco on 0344 543 9140 to discuss your circumstances and whether you need to make new repayment arrangements.

If your change in circumstances means you can afford a higher repayment rate, your monthly payments may be increased and the timeline for your repayment shortened.

Important Notice:

You must only apply for hardship arrangements if you believe you are eligible. If you provide false information or leave out key information when applying, you’ll be committing fraud and may be prosecuted. If you have not booked and paid for a quarantine or testing package before arriving in England, and have not been granted a hardship arrangement, you may be fined up to £4,000. You’ll also have to pay for your managed quarantine or testing on arrival.

You must only apply for hardship arrangements if you believe you are eligible. If you provide false information or leave out key information when applying, you’ll be committing fraud and may be prosecuted. If you have not booked and paid for a quarantine or testing package before arriving in England, and have not been granted a hardship arrangement, you may be fined up to £4,000. You’ll also have to pay for your managed quarantine or testing on arrival.


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