COVID-19 Travel Update UK


Covid -19 Travel Update UK, October 2021

Under the new immigration changes, which have taken effect from October 11th, the green and amber lists have been scrapped. This leaves only seven red list countries whose citizens must follow restrictions if they wish to travel to the UK at the moment. We discuss here the specific requirements to enter England, for comprehensive info on requirements for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, click here

It is common knowledge that there have been restrictions placed on those travelling to England from countries that Britain had considered to be unsafe due to the spread of the virus. Past restrictions enforced that anyone travelling from a country of threat to England would have had to quarantine in an assigned hotel for up to 14 days under the traffic light system that was in place at that time, or alternatively quarantine at home for 10 days. That is why in previous months, the government had in place a green, amber and red list system. 

In general, anyone coming to England from the green list would have no difficulty entering, but those from the amber list would have had to self-isolate with other restrictions in place and would be checked on by UK border control officers to make sure that they were self-isolating. Whereas those from the red list would have to enter into an expensive government-designated hotel quarantine for two-weeks, the cost of which is just over £2500.

As the months have passed by and with a vigorous vaccination programme in place worldwide, resulting in controlling the spread of the Covid-19 virus, the UK government has lifted 47 countries off the red list for inbound passengers to England. Today there are still seven countries on the redlist namely: Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Panama, Peru and Venezuela. Citizens from these seven countries are stil subject to hotel quarantine upon arrival. For more details click here. 

Travel Update UK – Passengers Who Have Been Fully Vaccinated 

Testing rules are therefore eased for people travelling to the England from non-red list destinations which have been fully vaccinated with a vaccine that is accepted under the UK’s vaccination guidelines. Moreover, being fully vaccinated means that you are an individual who has completed a full course of an acceptable vaccine at least 14 days before you arrive.

Before you arrive in the England you must:

  • Schedule and pay for a COVID-19 test on the day 2 of your stay, which is to be taken after arrival in England 
  • Fill out a passenger locator form at least 48 hours before you arrive in England. You will need to enter your COVID-19 test booking reference number on the passenger locator form.

Anyone who is travelling from the EU and the USA can also travel to the England without testing provided they have been fully vaccinated with one of the government’s eligible vaccinations, are only required to take a PCR test on day two after arrival as opposed to unvaccinated arrivals from those countries who do not qualify under the vaccination rules and are required to take PCR test on day two, and eight after arrival, and have the option of taking additional PCR test on day five as part of the early test to release scheme.

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Travel Update UK – Passengers Who Are Not Fully Vaccinated

If you are not fully vaccinated, you must 

  • Take a COVID-19 test up to 3 days before you travel 
  • Schedule and pay for a COVID-19 test on the day 2 of your stay, which is to be taken after arrival in England 
  • Fill out a passenger locator form at least 48 hours before you arrive in England 

Once you arrive in England as someone who is not fully vaccinated you must:

  • Quarantine at home or at the residence you will be staying at for 10 days
  • Take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8. Both of these tests must be booked before you travel.

If you are in England for less than 10 days, you still need to quarantine fo rthe time that you are in the country. 

Immigration Entry Clearance Applications 

The current position, therefore on entering England, should be of help to those who are thinking of applying for entry clearance under one of the categories of the immigration rules to come to Britain either as a visitor, student, student dependent, and fiancé or a married spouse or under a business or other category comprised under the immigration rules. It gives an opportunity to those who are travelling either alone or with dependants to fully consider their domestic situation before applying and setting off.

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