Two-week quarantines will be imposed on new arrivals to the UK from 8 June, with fines for anyone who breaches the measure to prevent new waves of coronavirus from overseas.
British Home Secretary Priti Patel has announced that mandatory self-isolation would not apply to people coming from Ireland, medics tackling Covid-19 and seasonal agricultural workers.
Passengers would have to fill a form providing their contact and travel information so they can be traced if infections arise and could be contacted regularly during the 14 days to ensure their compliance.
Breaches would be punishable with a £1,000 fixed penalty notice in England, or prosecution with an unlimited fine, while devolved nations can set out their own enforcement approaches.
Border Force will be able to refuse entry to foreign citizens who are not UK residents during border checks while removal from the country could be used as a last resort, the Home Office said.
Arrivals will be advised to use personal transport to head to their accommodation and once there not leave for 14 days.
They will not be allowed to accept visitors, unless they are providing essential support, and should not go out to buy food or other essentials "where they can rely on others", the department said.
The Home Office said if accommodation does not meet necessary requirements - with hotels, or with friends and family listed as options - they will have to self-isolate in "facilities arranged by the government".
Ms Patel said: "As the world begins to emerge from what we hope is the worst of the coronavirus pandemic, we must look to the future and protect the British public by reducing the risk of cases crossing our border.
"We are introducing these new measures now to keep the transmission rate down and prevent a devastating second wave.
"I fully expect the majority of people will do the right thing and abide by these measures. But we will take enforcement action against the minority of people who endanger the safety of others."
The announcement will provoke fresh anger from the aviation industry, with airlines warning the measures could be disastrous for them.
Speaking on Channel 4 news, Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary branded the plan "bonkers" and "unimplementable".
"The problem with quarantine is that it's unimplementable, completely ineffective - the only way that quarantine on international arrivals can be made effective is if you detain people in the terminal building or detain them in an airport hotel," he said.
"For Priti Patel and Boris Johnson to come out with this frankly bonkers idea that we can introduce a lockdown or quarantine onto international arrivals into the UK only after they have all travelled on the underground, Gatwick express or taxis ... that is bonkers, it's ineffective."
Mr O'Leary said that wearing face masks "is a reasonable and practical defence to the spread of Covid-19 while people return to normal travel patterns".
He confirmed Ryanair planes would be disinfected and deep cleaned every night but not between flights. "It's not possible, the facilities do not exist across Europe to be disinfecting planes on turnarounds. That is why we are mandating passengers to wear masks."