In October 2021, an overhaul of the COVID-19 travel rules was introduced. The previous ‘Traffic Light System’ with Green, Amber and Red Lists of destinations has been scrapped. Much simpler, the new rules focus more on whether or not a passenger is vaccinated. Due to emerging concern about the omicron variant, rules for travel have been updated in November 2021. Let’s take a look at the new COVID-19 testing rules for travel.
Do I Need To Quarantine If I’m Fully Vaccinated?
Fully vaccinated passengers are required to isolate after arriving in the UK. A PCR test must be completed on Day 2 of self-isolation. If your Day 2 test is positive, you must continue to isolate for 10 days. If you test negative, you can end self-isolation immediately.
If you are fully vaccinated and arriving from a Red List country, you still need to follow the Red List travel rules and complete managed hotel quarantine for 10 days.
Do I Need To Do COVID Travel Tests If I’m Fully Vaccinated?
Fully vaccinated passengers arriving to the UK are required to complete testing during post-travel self-isolation. You must take a Day 2 PCR test on the 2nd day of isolation. If you test negative, you can end self-isolation immediately. If you test is positive on Day 2, you must continue to isolate for 10 full days.
|Red List Arrivals||Partially/Unvaccinated non-Red List Arrivals||Vaccinated non-Red List Arrivals|
|Complete a Passenger Locator Form||✓||✓||✓|
|LFT or PCR Test pre-departure to the UK||✓||✓||✘|
|Day 2 Testing||✘||✓||✓|
|Day 8 Testing||✘||✓||✘|
|Managed Hotel Quarantine inc. 2 COVID tests||✓||✘||✘|
What Are the Travel Rules If I’m Unvaccinated/Partially Vaccinated?
For those travellers who are unvaccinated or only partially vaccinated, there are currently no changes to the testing or quarantine requirements. This means if you arrive in the UK from any non-Red List country, and you are not fully vaccinated, you still need to take a pre-departure Lateral Flow Antigen Test (from £32) or PCR test, day two and day eight PCR tests, and to quarantine at home for 10 days on arrival.
What Is The Red List?
The Red List is still in place. Requirements for arrivals in the UK from Red List countries remain the same – a pre-departure test and the pre-booking a mandatory 11-night quarantine hotel package. The quarantine package includes two PCR tests, taken on day two and day eight, whatever your vaccination status.
Can I Travel to a Red List Country for a Holiday?
Only essential travel to Red List countries is advised. Travel to Red List countries for leisure is not advised. There has been a large cull to the number of destinations on the Red List (October 2021) and travellers are advised to only visit one of the many destinations now removed from the Red List and accessible for leisure travel and holidays. Check the latest UK Government travel restrictions to see the current Red List.