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Travel Advice

Does the latest travel update affect the tests you need to fly?

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. 

How to check if you qualify as fully vaccinated

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:

  • Under 18 and resident in the UK or one of the approved countries 
  • Are taking part in an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial in the UK or the USA (US residents only for USA trials)
  • Cannot have a COVID-19 vaccination for a medical reason, which has been approved by a clinician and you are a resident in England
  •  

Find out how to prove your vaccination status.

If you qualify as fully vaccinated 

Here are the rules you need to follow when returning from any country not on the red list. 

Before you travel to England - fully vaccinated 

You must:

  • Book and pay for a day 2 COVID-19 test - taken after arrival in England 
  • Complete a passenger locator form up to 48 hours before arrival in England 

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. 

When you arrive in England - fully vaccinated 

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 are not fully vaccinated

If you do not qualify as fully vaccinated, here’s what you need to do:

Before you travel to England - not fully vaccinated 

You need to:

  • Take a COVID-19 test three days before you travel to England 
  • Book and pay for both a day 2 and day 8 COVID-19 test - to be taken after arrival in England 
  • Complete a passenger locator form - to be completed within 48 hours before you arrive in England 

When you arrive in England - not fully vaccinated 

After you arrive in England you need to:

  • Quarantine at home or your stated address for 10 days 
  • Take your pre-booked COVID-19 tests on day 2 and day 8 

 

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 

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.

Travelling to a Red List country

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. 

Returning from a Red List country

If you are travelling from a Red List country to the UK, you will only be allowed to enter if: 

  • You are a British or Irish National 
  • Have residence rights in the UK 

 

When returning from a Red List country, regardless as to whether you are vaccinated or not, you must follow certain rules including:


What about travelling with children? 

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. 

View Red List countries, and for more information visit the government website.