Published: 17 Nov 2021  |  Category: Resettlement  |  Stage: We are preparing for a family to arrive

Covid-19 and arrival planning

Learn how to navigate current Covid rules for families arriving to the UK

Welcoming a family who will be self-isolating on arrival is going to represent challenges, and all Community Sponsorship Groups should be prepared for last minute changes to your plans as guidance changes.  

It is essential that all members of the family are registered with a GP as soon as possible.  Each family member will have a copy of their Migrant Health Assessment which has been sealed. They should hand the MHA to their GP. 

Make sure you are prepared to explain the UK Health system to family, providing contact information for local services such as the GP, Dentist, hospitals and any specialist support. You may find the Welcome to the UK booklet helpful too.  

  • Due to slow rollout of vaccination programs in the countries refugee families arrive from, few of the families who have arrived to the UK through Community Sponsorship so far have been fully vaccinated for Covid. 
  • Travellers over the age of 11 to the UK, who aren’t fully vaccinated will need to have a Covid test pre-departure – this will be organised in country.  Those who have a positive test will not be able to travel. Family members will have the PCR test.
  • Passenger Locator Forms will be completed in the 3 days prior to family members arriving, and the Home Office arrivals team will have sent you a form to complete with the details of your group.
  • As of 28th February 2022, all those arriving into the UK who aren’t fully vaccinated, will need to pay to have a PCR test before the end of day 2. The Home Office have been in contact with Groups to have these tests booked in – Groups will be reminded to claim the costs from the Home Office. 
  • There are resources available in Arabic for self testing as well as Kurdish – this is based on the Government’s video on self testing in English 
  • When Covid tests are returned, they provide a reference number which can be entered into the test and trace app.  There is no obligation on families to do this.  
  • All family members will be briefed on Covid regulations of the country they are going to and will wear face masks. Make sure you have updated translated advice in the home for the family to understand current restrictions.  We will continue to share the information we have, but it’s essential you follow local guidance .
  • Once families have arrived, like everyone in the UK, they will be able to receive a vaccination against Covid. Their eligibility for when this will happen will be determined by healthcare provider.  As a Community Sponsor, it’s really important to assist the family to understand the process and benefits of this taking place. The British Islamic Medical Council have produced resources to assist in encouragement to receive Covid vaccinations.
  • You can find Public Health England (PHE) refugee resettlement recommendations below.

At the time of writing (2nd March 2022), this article reflected current Covid guidance. It is important that you check for the most up-to-date information.


PHE Refugee Resettlement Recommendations [221.2KB] Download .PDF