Due to the high numbers of deaths because of COVID-19 in the United Kingdom, there have been plenty of lockdowns and several changes in the testing requirements. The UK government keeps updating its travel rules to lower the chances of people bringing the virus into the country. Whether you’re traveling or returning to the UK, there are certain testing regulations you have to follow. While some rules may not be applicable to you if you’re traveling for work or if you’re coming back from Ireland, others will apply to you.Whether you’re traveling or returning to the UK, keep reading to know more about the Guide To UK Travel Requirements and how to fulfill them.
UK Latest Travel Rules
Currently, only German citizens and residents of the United Kingdom can enter the UK. A negative test and 2 weeks of quarantine are required upon entry, regardless of whether or not you have been vaccinated. Additionally, anyone wishing to travel from the UK to France must have a “compulsory reason” unless they are French citizens or residents. All visitors must submit a negative Covid test within 24 hours. Afterward, they need to be isolated for 48 hours, after which they need to take another PCR test. If it is negative, they can leave isolated. If it is positive, they are required to spend 7 more days in isolation.
Day 2 Lateral Flow Test
If you have been fully vaccinated and are traveling or returning to England from a non-red-listed country, you should book a COVID-19 test before flying. You need to do this because you will have to put your reference number in your Passenger Locator Form. Ideally, when booking your test, you should do it on the day of your arrival or even earlier. Day zero is the day you land, so you will have some time to do the day 2 lateral flow test, which is considered a cheaper option in comparison to other more expensive tests. The best thing about this test is that within 20 minutes of taking it, following the provided instructions, you should receive an email to notify you that your results are available.
Red List Countries
In the recent wake of the Omicron coronavirus variant, the British government added a few countries to the “Red List” on November 25. However, these countries have all been removed from the list starting from December 15. While the “Red List” currently doesn’t have any countries, sudden changes can take place at any time, so you have to keep an eye on the UK government website for further updates. Usually, if you’ve been to a country on the “Red List” in the past 10 days you will have to isolate in a quarantined hotel for 10 days upon your arrival.
Green List Countries
All destinations not on the “Red List” are classified as green. Currently, all destinations are green. However, some green destinations are not allowed to travel unnecessarily from the United Kingdom. All people entering the UK after December 7 must also show a negative pre-departure COVID test two days prior to travel. All travelers from Green-List countries traveling to England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland must book and pay for the day-two test. A few months ago, the British government allowed fully vaccinated UK visitors to switch to cheaper lateral tests instead of day two and PCR tests. However, in response to the news of the Omicron variant, the British government said that all international travelers, regardless of their vaccination status or country, must undergo a PCR test on the second day and isolate themselves until negative test results are obtained.
Qualification for Being Fully Vaccinated
To qualify for a trip to the UK under full vaccination regulations, you must provide proof of full vaccination with a complete course of certified vaccines. You must have taken your last dose at least 14 days prior to arriving in the UK. The day of your last vaccine dose isn’t considered as one of the 14 days. The vaccination certificate must be issued by the UK vaccination program, vaccination program for UN staff and volunteers, or a foreign vaccination program with a certified approval for travel to the UK.
In the UK’s case, regular travel changes take place more often these days due to the Omicron variant, so it is important to keep up with the travel requirements before booking your flight. Read the listed tips carefully to help you have a better understanding of what’s needed.