International Travel Guidance

If you are planning on traveling abroad, read the below guidance on what you need to do and what documentation you need to prepare for your trip and returning to the UK.
woman sitting in airport with face mask

From Monday 4th October, the traffic light system is no longer in place. There will no longer be countries on amber or red list, only a few countries on the red list. 

Travel to England from another country during coronavirus 

If you are fully vaccinated

This is what you need to do if you qualify under the fully vaccinated rules for travel to England.

Before you travel to England you must:

  • book and pay for a day 2 COVID-19 test – to be taken after arrival in England
  • complete a passenger locator form – to be completed in the 48 hours before you arrive in England
  • you will need to enter your COVID-19 test booking reference number on your passenger locator form.

When you arrive in England you must: 

  • take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2, which you must book before you travel.

If you will be in England for less than 2 days you still need to book and pay for a day 2 COVID-19 test. You only need to take the test if you are still in England on day 2.

Book your day 2 test

Complete your passenger locator form

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:

  • take a COVID-19 test – to be taken in the 3 days before you travel to England
  • book and pay for day 2 and day 8 COVID-19 tests – to be taken after arrival in England
  • complete a passenger locator form – to be completed in the 48 hours before you arrive in England

After you arrive in England you must:

  • quarantine at home or in the place you are staying for 10 days
  • take your pre-booked COVID-19 test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8 – you must book these tests before you travel

If you are in England for less than 10 days, you need to quarantine for the time you are here. You need to book day 2 and day 8 travel tests. You only need to take the tests if you are still in England on those days.

Book your day 2 and day 8 test

Complete your passenger locator form

Travelling with children

The rules for children depend on age and country of residence.

Children resident in the UK or in a country with an approved vaccination programme

Children of all ages who are resident in the UK or a country with an approved vaccination programme do not have to quarantine on arrival in England.

If they are aged 4 and under they do not have to take any COVID-19 travel tests.

5 to 17 year olds:

  • do not have to take a COVID-19 test before travel to England
  • must take a day 2 test on or before day 2 – arrival day is day 0

Children resident in other countries

Children aged 5 to 17 who are resident in any country that is not on the approved vaccination programme list must:

  • take a COVID-19 test (if aged 11 or above) before travelling to England
  • take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 in England – arrival day is day 0
  • take a COVID-19 test on or after day 8 in England – arrival day is day 0
  • quarantine at home or in the place they’re staying for 10 days, or for the duration of their stay if it’s less than 10 days

Children aged 4 or under from these other countries do not have to take travel tests.

They must follow quarantine rules.

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.

Test to Release scheme

Exemptions

Some people cannot be fully vaccinated for medical reasons. Read more about medical exemptions from vaccination.

There are also medical exemptions from:

Proving your vaccination status

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

Proving your vaccination status

If you are fully vaccinated under the UK vaccination programme, you can prove your vaccination status using either:

Paper certificates are also available.

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.

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

Travel to England from a country on the Red list

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

If you live in England, you should not travel to countries or territories on the red list.

Before you travel to England from a red list country you must:

  • take a COVID-19 test – you must take the test in the 3 days before you travel to England
  • book a quarantine hotel package, including 2 COVID-19 tests
  • complete a passenger locator form

You must do this even if you are fully vaccinated.

Book a quarantine hotel package

Complete your passenger locator form

If you are travelling with children from a red list country:

  • Children aged 11 to 17 must take a COVID-19 test in the 3 days before travel to England.
  • On arrival in England children aged 5 to 17 must quarantine in a managed hotel for 10 full days and take 2 COVID-19 tests.
  • Children aged 4 or under do not have to take any travel tests but must enter managed quarantine.

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

Exemptions

Some people are exempt from red list restrictions for medical or compassionate reasons, or because of the job they do.

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