Here’s what you’ll need to know and expect If you’re planning a trip to the UK, during the global coronavirus pandemic.
Over the past 18 months, the UK has seen one of the highest numbers of deaths from COVID in the world, and this has resulted in multiple lockdowns.
Most legal coronavirus restrictions have now been lifted in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, but there are still some restrictions in place regarding international travel – and some nations have kept certain domestic measures too.
As of November 1st 2021, there are no countries on the UK’s red list anymore, but the red list has not disappeared completely. UK Transport Minister, Grandt Shapps, said “We will keep the red list category in place as a precautionary measure to protect public health and are prepared to add countries and territories back if needed, as the UK’s first line of defence.”
Who can travel to the UK?
Most fully vaccinated travellers can now enter England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales without taking a pre-departure COVID test or quarantining, but they must take a test on or before Day 2 of their arrival into the UK.
Non-vaccinated travellers can also visit the UK but will be subject to extra testing and quarantine requirements. The Republic of Ireland has entirely separate entrance regulations, which are also enforced when people cross the land border.
What are the current travel restrictions in place in the UK?
All arrivals into the UK must complete a passenger locator form before landing.
As mentioned above, most fully vaccinated travellers to the UK no longer need to take a pre-departure test, and this also applies to those travellers who are under 18.
However, they must book and pay for a Day 2 test, which can be either a lateral flow test or a PCR test. Free lateral flow tests from the NHS cannot be used for this purpose though, travellers must order tests from a private provider such as Fit2FlyTest. Travellers then have to upload a photo of their test and booking reference in order to verify their results.
Non-vaccinated travellers to the UK still have to take a pre-departure test as well as booking and pay for a Day 2 and Day 8 PCR test. They must also quarantine at the place they are staying, or at home, for 10 days. They may be able to end quarantine early using the Test to Release scheme if they are staying in England – the Test to Release scheme does not apply in Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales.
The list of countries with UK approved vaccination programmes includes EU countries and the US, alongside Peru and Uganda.
Future changes to travel to the UK
All under 18s arriving in England from non-red list countries will be able to follow the same rules as fully vaccinated travellers from November the 22nd.
Also from the same date, England will recognise COVID-19 vaccines that are on the World Health Organisations Emergency Use LIsting, meaning vaccines such as Beijing, Covaxin, Sinopharm and Sinovac will be added to the list of approved vaccines for inbound travel to the UK.
Fit2FlyTest is here to help you get prepared for take-off with a wide range of PCR and Lateral Flow travel tests.