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UK – EU Transition, and UK Civil Aviation Regulations

To access current UK civil aviation regulations, including AMC and GM, CAA regulatory documents, please use this link to UK Regulation. Please note, if you use information and guidance under the Headings below, the references to EU regulations or EU websites in our guidance will not be an accurate information or description of your obligations under UK law. These pages are undergoing reviews and updates.

In the first three months of 2021, the UK Civil Aviation Authority issued 485 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) to airlines for carrying passengers who had not complied with Covid-19 requirements for international passengers travelling to the UK.

Passengers arriving into the UK are required to provide proof of a valid negative Covid-19 test taken no more than three days before departure and are required to have completed a passenger locator form (PLF). Additionally, passengers arriving from Green-list counties are required to have booked and paid for one Covid-19 test to be taken on day two after their arrival into the UK, passengers arriving from Amber-list countries are required to have booked and paid for two Covid-19 tests to be taken on day two and day eight and passengers that have been in a Red-list country in the 10 days prior to their arrival are required to have booked a place in managed quarantine.

Airlines and operators are required to check that passengers have complied with these requirements prior to boarding their flight to the UK. Where a passenger arriving into the UK by air is identified as having failed to comply with one or more of these requirements, Border Force may issue a financial penalty against the passenger. The Civil Aviation Authority may also issue a financial penalty (in the form of a Fixed Penalty Notice or 'FPN') against the operator.

Operators have 28 days to pay or contest the FPN and provide evidence to the Civil Aviation Authority demonstrating that they performed the necessary checks on the passenger concerned. In such cases, where operators are able to demonstrate compliance, we will rescind the FPN.

While the data for the first quarter shows only seven fines paid, this does not reflect how many FPNs have been paid to date; this data only shows the number that were paid up to the end of March. The majority of FPNs issued during Q1 have now been paid or rescinded. Further data will be published in our next quarterly update.

In addition to issuing FPNs, our enforcement policy provides the flexibility to pursue alternative enforcement approaches simultaneously, including the ability to investigate and prosecute carriers for systemic failure to comply with the legislation.

Monthly breakdown of FPNs up to the end of Q1 2021
Month FPNs served FPNs rescinded FPNs paid
February 30 0 0
March 455 3 7
Totals 485 3 7

Notes for editors:

  • The monthly breakdown of FPNs is published by the Civil Aviation Authority on a quarterly basis.
  • The number of FPNs paid illustrates the number paid within Q1. The majority of fines issued in Q1 have now been paid or rescinded. Further data will be available within our next update.
  • The Civil Aviation Authority is not the relevant authority for enforcement against operators for passengers arriving on flights into Scotland or Northern Ireland.
  • In Q1, on average, it took around 40 days for an FPN to be served on an operator from the date the non-compliant passenger arrived on their flight into the UK.
  • Passenger compliance with the Covid-19 international travel requirements was estimated by the Civil Aviation Authority to be > 99.7% in Q1 2021 (based on the number of violations referred to the CAA by Border Force as a percentage of the number of passengers arriving by air into England and Wales from outside the Common Travel Area (CTA)).
  • Guidance on travelling to the UK is available at gov.uk/uk-border-control.

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