Understanding the different testing and quarantine and testing requirements can be a bit of a minefield. So we are breaking it down to help you prepare for your next trip now the rules have changed.
As of October 4th, the Green and Amber Lists have been scrapped. Instead, there is now one rule for all countries not featured on the Red List (Red List guidance featured below). When travelling, the rules no longer change depending on which country you visit, but whether you are vaccinated or not.
In simple terms, fully vaccinated means that you have had a completed course of an approved vaccine at least 14 days before travelling to England. The day you had your dose does not count as one of the 14 days.
The vaccine must have been administered under either:
The fully vaccinated rules also apply for:
Find out how to prove your vaccination status.
Here are the rules you need to follow when returning from any country not on the red list.
N.B: You will no longer be required to take a COVID-19 test 72 hours before arrival in the UK, and you can also book an antigen or lateral flow test instead of the more expensive PCR tests.
You need to take your COVID-19 test on or before day 2 after your arrival, this test must be booked before you travel. If you are staying in England for less than 2 days, you still need to book and pay for a day 2 COVID-19 test - but you only need to take it if you are still in England on day 2.
If you do not qualify as fully vaccinated, here’s what you need to do:
You need to:
After you arrive in England you need to:
N.B: If you are quarantining you may be able to end quarantine early by paying for a private COVID-19 test through the Test to Release scheme.
You could face fines of up to £10,000 for repeatedly breaking quarantine rules.
Red List travel requirements remain unchanged, whether you are vaccinated or not. If you visit any of the countries listed on the Red List, you will be required to quarantine in a government-managed hotel.
Red list countries have been identified to present the highest COVID-19 risk and should not be visited except in the most extreme of circumstances. Before travelling you are advised to check the entry requirements of each destination, as requirements can vary.
If you are travelling from a Red List country to the UK, you will only be allowed to enter if:
When returning from a Red List country, regardless as to whether you are vaccinated or not, you must follow certain rules including:
On arrival to England, all children aged 5 to 17 are required to be quarantined in a government-managed hotel for 10 days and take 2 COVID-19 tests. Those aged 11-17 are also expected to take a COVID-19 test 3 days upon arrival to the UK.
Children under the age of four do have to enter government-managed hotel quarantine but are not expected to take any tests for COVID-19.
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