1. What this study is about

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has been commissioned by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to carry out this important study on views and experiences of people in England who have to self-isolate after arriving from international travel. This study is for people who travelled from an "amber list" country or territory and who have reached the end of their self-isolation period.

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2. Why you should take part

You have the unique opportunity to tell us about your experiences of self-isolating after arriving from international travel. Your responses will provide us with information not available from any other sources. You will be helping the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to understand the impact self-isolation has on people’s lives. Do not miss your chance to have your say.

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3. What you will be asked

The study will cover a range of topics, including:

  • information about you
  • your experience of the self-isolation guidance and quarantining
  • your views of the services provided

The questions we ask can be based on both facts and opinions. You do not need to know the self-isolation guidance to take part.

You do not need any specialist knowledge to take part. There are no right or wrong answers - your honest responses are vital for us to produce reliable statistics.

We respect your right to a private life - the information you provide in this study will not be used to identify you in any way.

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4. Taking part is important

Your response is extremely important to make sure your voice counts in producing reliable statistics for decision-making. For us to get an accurate picture of people’s views and experiences, we need to talk to people from all walks of life.

Your participation is entirely voluntary. You have the right to withdraw from the survey at any time without explanation and any data collected will be deleted if you request us to do so.

If you do not want to answer some or any of the questions, you do not have to. Please answer as many questions as you can, to ensure that your experiences and circumstances are counted.

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5. What we will do with your answers

Your personal information will remain confidential.

The details you provide will be combined with those of everyone else taking part so we can produce aggregate statistics. Any data we publish will never identify you.

We do not sell on your data and you will not receive junk mail or marketing calls as a result of taking part in the study.

If you want to know more, please see the section about our commitment to protecting your data.

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6. What will happen next

You should have received a text inviting you to take part in the study.

An interviewer from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) will contact you from 02392 958174 to carry out the interview over the phone, or to find a convenient time to do so.

We design our studies with you in mind and keep them as short as possible. We only collect the information we need to better understand the impact of self-isolation for people who travelled from an "amber list" country or territory and who have reached the end of their self-isolation period. Your response is really important to us.

How to get an invite if you do not receive one

Individuals are chosen at random to take part in this study and cannot be replaced with others. To ensure the study is valid, only those selected at random can take part.

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7. Who carries out the study

This study is being carried out by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) for the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC). The ONS are the country's largest producer of statistics.

We are:

  • independent, unbiased and impartial: we are separate from other organisations and do not allow anything to influence the statistics we publish;

  • the only organisation that produces official statistics as a primary role: we have no additional interest in the information we collect;

  • only interested in society as a whole, and not you as an individual: statistics represent groups of people; we remove your personal details as we are not interested in singling you out.

We are not:

  • a commercial or market research organisation: we do not work for profit and will not try to sell you anything;

  • associated with any political parties: we produce official statistics, no matter who the Prime Minister or political party in government is;

  • going to sell on your data under any circumstances: we value your involvement in our studies and do not profit from your data; you will not receive any "junk mail" as a result of taking part;

  • monitoring you, as the data you give are only used for producing statistics: we will not use your information to contact you about other matters such as your tax, income or benefits, and we will not provide your information to anyone else for them to do so either.

Read more about what we do at the ONS.

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8. How people have been selected

To understand people's experience of self-isolating, we need to talk to people like you.

You have been selected at random to take part from a list of names and phone numbers from the Passenger Locator Form (PLF) that you (or someone on your behalf) will have completed prior to travelling to the UK.

The PLF is designed to track and trace those individuals who may have come into contact with another person who has, or goes on to develop, coronavirus. It is also used to monitor self-isolation of those individuals who have been abroad and returned to the UK and who are not exempt from self-isolation measures.

ONS have been given permission by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to contact you to invite you to participate in the International Arrivals Insights Study to ensure that government policies are informed. We will not use your contact details for any other purposes.

It is not possible to ask everyone to take part in our study; instead, we have invited a sample of individuals. We cannot ask another individual to take your place as this would affect how representative our study is.

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9. How the results are used

The results from this study will be used by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and other departments to develop and monitor the coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance on self-isolating and to assess the impact self-isolating has on people’s lives.

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10. Confidentiality and data protection

How we will use the information you provide

Your personal information will remain confidential. The details you provide will be combined with those of everyone else taking part so we can produce statistics. Any data we publish will never identify you.

The ONS and DHSC will use your data for statistical purposes only. DHSC will receive record-level data produced from this study (with all personal information removed) and may share this with the Home Office and other government departments, who will also use the data for statistical purposes only. We will follow the Code of Practice for Statistics. All personal data will be deleted once it is no longer required to produce statistics.

We do not sell on your data, and you will not receive junk mail or marketing calls as a result of taking part in one of our studies.

The precautions for data protection and confidentiality we have taken

The ONS adheres to the Code of Practice for Statistics, the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and processes all personal information with respect, keeping it secure and confidential. Any personal data collected are processed in systems that have been accredited by the ONS, designed to uphold the security of the data and that are subject to regular assessment.

We ensure your personal information is held securely

We take our responsibilities to keep your personal information secure very seriously. As such, we take every reasonable precaution to ensure your information is protected from loss, theft or misuse. These precautions include appropriate physical security of our offices, controlled access to computer systems, and use of secure, encrypted internet connections when collecting personal information.

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11. The ONS’s responsibility to the public

You can read about the commitments the Office for National Statistics (ONS) makes to those taking part in its studies in our ONS respondent charter for surveys of households and individuals.

If you have a question about how we process your personal data or want to find out more about your rights under data protection legislation, please see our data protection page.

At the ONS, we take seriously our responsibility to the public. It is our policy that we will tell the appropriate authority if we believe there is a serious risk to someone's safety.

We would appreciate your suggestions on how we can improve any of our studies. It would also be great to hear from you if you are happy with the service you have received. You can email us at Covid.Insights.Study@ons.gov.uk.

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12. Finding further help and support

For more information about quarantining when arriving in England, please visit the government website: How to quarantine when you arrive in England.

For more information on the coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance, please visit the government website: Stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.

You can call 119 if you need help getting a test to check if you have coronavirus or have been contacted by NHS Test and Trace and have a question or concern.

If you require assistance, there may be voluntary support networks and community hubs in your area that could help with medicine or food deliveries. NHS Volunteer Responders may also be able to help. You can call them for free on 0808 196 3646.  Additionally, please contact the Local Authority you're staying in if you need further assistance.

For advice and practical steps that you can take to support your wellbeing and manage your mental health, please visit the Every Mind Matters website.

If you would need support in another language, please call for free on 0800 298 5313 to request that.

If you have any queries or concerns about the study, please phone us for free on 0800 298 5313  or email us at  Covid.Insights.Study@ons.gov.uk.

Useful links

Department of Health and Social Care
Public Health England

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