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COVID-19 restrictions for arrivals in the UK

On Monday 4 October the UK Government announced a new clearer travel system for arriving in England. The previous traffic light system has been replaced by: red list and rest of world.

Red list

There are different rules if you have been in a red list country or territory in the 10 days before you arrive in England. Red list rules apply whether you are fully vaccinated or not.

Rest of the world

What you must do depends on whether you qualify as fully vaccinated under the rules for travel to England.

If you are fully vaccinated

Before you travel to England you must:

You will need to enter your COVID-19 test booking reference number on your passenger locator form.

When you arrive in England – fully vaccinated

After you arrive in England you must take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2.
You must book this test before you travel.

Check if you qualify as fully vaccinated

Fully vaccinated means that you have had a complete course of an approved vaccine at least 14 days before you arrive in England. The day you had your final dose does not count as one of the 14 days.

The vaccine must be administered under either:

  • the UK vaccination programme
  • an approved overseas vaccination programme in a listed country

Check which vaccines are approved and the list of countries and territories with approved vaccination programmes.

Even if you are not fully vaccinated, the fully vaccinated rules apply if you:

  • are 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 under the new medical exemptions process, and you are resident in England

There are different ways to prove your vaccination status if you were vaccinated outside of the UK.

Check what proof is required for the country or territory where you were vaccinated.

Check if you qualify as fully vaccinated.

If you cannot prove that you qualify under the fully vaccinated rules, you must follow the rules for people who are not fully vaccinated.

If you are not fully vaccinated

This is what you need to do if you do not qualify under the fully vaccinated rules for travel to England.

Before you travel to England you must:

Read more about taking a COVID-19 test before you travel to England.

After you arrive in England and are not fully vaccinated you must:

Test to Release scheme

If you need to quarantine, you may be able to end quarantine early if you pay for a private COVID-19 test through the Test to Release scheme.

Transiting through a red list country on your way to England

If you make a transit stop in a red list country on your way to England you may need to follow the red list rules when you arrive.

A transit stop is a stop where passengers can get on or off the transport in which you are travelling. It can apply to ships, trains or aeroplanes. Your ticket should show if a stop is a transit stop.

Making a transit stop would not affect what you have to do on arrival in England if, during the stop:

  • no new passengers board your aircraft, vessel or train carriage
  • passengers get off but do not get back on
  • you are kept separate from passengers who did not arrive on the same aircraft, vessel or train carriage as you

Private vehicles or coaches travelling through red list countries or territories

If you are travelling to England in a private vehicle, the rules of the countries and territories you drive through apply. If you drive through a red list country, then you must follow the red list rules when you arrive in England.

This applies whether you stop in the country or territory or not. You need to record the countries and territories you drive through on your passenger locator form.

Red list countries

There are different rules if you have been in a red list country in the 10 days before you arrive in England.

Check which countries and territories are on the red list and read the red list rules.

If you have been in or travelled through a country or territory on the red list in the 10 days before you arrive in England, you will only be allowed to enter the UK if you either:

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

What you need to do when you travel to England depends on whether you qualify as fully vaccinated or not.

Fully vaccinated:

To qualify under the fully vaccinated rules for travel to England, you must have been fully vaccinated with a full course of an approved vaccine in the UK or one of the countries and territories, Check if you qualify as fully vaccinated.

You must do this when you arrive in England even if you are fully vaccinated

How to book a quarantine package

  • You must book your managed quarantine package before you travel to England using the booking portal administered by Corporate Travel Management (CTM).
  • Book your quarantine hotel (through CTM)
  • If you’re having difficulty booking you can call +44 (0)20 7429 9732.

How much you’ll need to pay:

1 adult in 1 room for 10 days (11 nights) £2,285
Additional rate for 1 adult (or child over 11) £1,430
Additional rate for a child aged 5 to 11 £325

You do not have to pay for children under 5. Prices are kept under review and may change.

If you have not arranged a quarantine package before arriving in England, you can be fined up to £4,000. You will still have to pay for your quarantine package on arrival.

Read more about taking a COVID-19 test before you travel to England.

You can still travel to England if you do not qualify as fully vaccinated but you must follow different rules, please visit travelling to England from another country for further details.

Before you travel to England – not fully vaccinated you must:

take a COVID-19 test – to be taken in the 3 days before you travel to England

Read more about taking a COVID-19 test before you travel to England.

When you arrive in England – not fully vaccinated you must:

Test to Release scheme

If you need to quarantine, you may be able to end quarantine early if you pay for a private COVID-19 test through the Test to Release scheme.