International Travel Guidance

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

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 – fully vaccinated

Before you travel to England you must:

If you’re in England for less than 2 days, you still need to book and pay for a day 2 COVID-19 test.

You cannot use an NHS test for this. You must use a private test provider.

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

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.

When you arrive in England – fully vaccinated

After you arrive in England you must take a COVID-19 test. This is the test that you booked before travel. You can book either a lateral flow test or a PCR test.

You can take the test any time after you arrive and before the end of day 2 at the latest. The day you arrive is day 0.

If your test result is positive, you must self-isolate.

If your lateral flow test result is positive, you must also take a PCR test.

Test result

Click here for guidance on what to do if your PCR is positive

 

Check if you qualify as fully vaccinated

To qualify under the fully vaccinated rules for travel to England, you must have proof of full vaccination with a full course of an approved vaccine.

You must have had your final dose of the 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 proof of vaccination must have been issued by either:

  • the UK vaccination programme
  • the United Nations vaccine programme for staff and volunteers
  • an overseas vaccination programme with an approved proof of vaccination for travel to the UK

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

Children and other groups that can follow fully vaccinated rules

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

  • under 18 - see Travelling with children in this guidance
  • taking part in an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial in the UK or the USA (US residents only for USA trials), or a phase 2 or 3 vaccine trial that is regulated by the EMA or SRA
  • unable to have a COVID-19 vaccination for a medical reason which has been approved by a clinician under the medical exemptions process, and you are resident in England

Read about applying for a medical exemption from vaccination using the NHS COVID Pass if you live in England.

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.

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.

Check this section of this guidance to see if you qualify as fully vaccinated.

Before you travel to England – not fully vaccinated

Before you travel to England you must:

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

When you arrive in England – not fully vaccinated

After you arrive in England you must:

You must take the first test on or before day 2 and the second test on or after day 8. The day you arrive is day 0.

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 PCR tests. You only need to take the tests if you are still in England on those days

 

If the test result is positive

If your day 2 test is positive, you must self-isolate for 10 full days. The day you took the test is day 0.

You do not need to take the day 8 test if your day 2 test is positive. If your day 2 test is negative, you must take your day 8 test.

If your day 8 test is positive, you must self-isolate for 10 full days. The day you took the day 8 test is day 0.

If the test result is negative

If your day 2 test is negative, you must continue to quarantine.

You must take your day 8 test on or after day 8.

If your day 8 test is negative, you can stop quarantine on whichever is later:

  • day 10 – day 0 is the day you arrived in England
  • when you receive the day 8 test result

 

Travelling with children

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

Children aged 5 to 17 have to follow the testing and quarantine rules for people who qualify as fully vaccinated on arrival in England.

This means that they have to take a COVID-19 test after they arrive in England – before the end of day 2 at the latest.

Check the rules in this guidance for people who qualify as fully vaccinated for travel to England for more details.

You should also check the rules in the country you are travelling from as they may require children to take a test at the start of your journey to England.

There are different rules for children who have been in a red list country or territory in the 10 days before they arrive in England.

Red list countries and territories

There are different rules if you have been in a red list country or territory in the 10 days before you arrive in England. If you need to follow red list rules, you must do so if you are fully vaccinated or not.

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

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