Understanding the New Travel Rules

As festive season approaches, it’s important to understand current travel rules and restrictions while planning your holiday.

Starting 4th October, the rules for international travel to England underwent major changes. Previously, the government had utilised a traffic light system to indicate various requirements for people arriving from other countries or territories. This system was changed to include a single list of ‘red’ countries or territories.

For countries not on the red list, requirements will depend on a traveller’s vaccination status. For those who are fully vaccinated, these rules are now in place:

  • A pre-departure COVID-19 test is no longer required when travelling to England.
  • A day eight COVID-19 test after arrival is no longer required.
  • A 10-day quarantine following arrival in England is no longer required.
  • A passenger locator form and a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test two days after arrival are still required, although the government may soon replace PCR tests with simpler lateral flow tests.

For unvaccinated travellers arriving from countries not on the red list, the following rules apply:

  • A pre-departure COVID-19 test is required.
  • A pair of PCR tests must be completed on days two and eight after arrival in England.
  • A 10-day quarantine is required after arrival.
  • A passenger locator form must be completed.

Regardless of vaccination status, travellers are only allowed to travel to the UK if they are a UK resident, or a UK or Irish national. Upon arrival, they are subject to the following requirements:

  • A pre-departure COVID-19 test must be completed and the traveller must present proof of a negative result.
  • A 10-day quarantine in a quarantine hotel— booked and paid for in advance—is required.
  • A passenger locator form must be completed.

Travellers should stay apprised of the current list of red countries and territories. The government is expected to further review international travel policies in 2022. For more information on travel requirements, click here.

 

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