UK Travel Guidelines

UK Travel Guidelines

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A look at the current guidelines for travelling to UK

The United Kingdom was one of the many western countries to quickly impose bans and travel restrictions on Indian travellers due to the significant rise in Covid-19 cases. With effect from 22nd October 2021, the UK travel ban has been lifted for fully vaccinated foreign travel. Travellers must present their lateral flow/Covid-19 PCR test and submit a mandatory passenger locator form at the immigration desk.

Introduction

After almost a year and a half of the coronavirus pandemic and the resultant travel bans, there is a glimmer of hope. Per the World Health Organisation (WHO), the weekly Covid-19 cases are steadily declining. In light of the reduced cases, the United Kingdom has opened its gates to international travellers but with certain UK travel restrictions in place. As such, if you are vaccinated with a WHO-approved vaccine, you may consider planning a trip to the UK. However, ensure that you keep abreast with the latest Travel Guidelines for UK.

Travel Guidelines UK – Important Notices

Fully vaccinated foreign nationals can enter the United Kingdom after completing at least 14 days since the second vaccine date. The vaccine should be approved by the UK Government. Also, the day you take your final dose will not be counted as one of the 14 days.

List of Approved Vaccines

You must have administered the full dose of the following vaccines at least 14 days before your arrival in England.

  • Oxford/AstraZeneca
  • Pfizer BioNTech
  • Moderna
  • Janssen
  • Sinovac
  • Sinopharm Beijing
  • Covaxin
  • AstraZeneca Covishield
  • AstraZeneca Vaxzevria
  • Moderna Takeda

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UK Travel Guidelines for Fully Vaccinated Individuals

Before Entering the UK

  • Book a lateral flow/PCR Covid-19 test in advance to take on Day 2 after you arrive in the UK.
  • Complete the Passenger Locator Form before 48 hours of arrival in the UK.
  • You must take a valid Covid-19 test before 3 days of arrival in Scotland or Northern Ireland, whether you are fully vaccinated or not.

After Entering the UK

Upon arriving in the UK, you must take the Covid-19 test (booked before arrival) on Day 2. Your arrival day would be considered as Day 0.

If you take a lateral flow Covid-19 test and are pronounced Covid-19 positive, you must take a PCR test for confirming the result. Until you get the test result, you must self-isolate. If even the PCR test comes out positive, you must self-isolate for 10 whole days at your expense. The day you take the first test, i.e., the lateral flow test will be Day 0.

UK Travel Guidelines Non-Fully-Vaccinated Passengers

Eligibility

  • Even if you are not fully vaccinated, you can enter the UK if:
  • You are under 18 years of age and a resident of the UK.
  • You are under 18 years of age and a resident of a country or territory with a UK-approved vaccine.
  • You are part of an approved Covid-19 vaccine trial in the UK
  • You are a UK resident who could not get vaccinated due to medical reasons approved under medical exemption processes.

Before Entering the UK

  • You must take a Covid-19 test 3 days before arriving in the UK.
  • Book a lateral flow/PCR Covid-19 test in advance to take on Day 2 and Day 8 after you arrive in the UK.
  • Complete the Passenger Locator Form before 48 hours of arrival in the UK.

After Entering the UK

  • You must quarantine at home or wherever you will be staying for 10 whole days. The day you arrive is Day 0.
  • Take the Covid-19 tests on Day 2 and Day 8, which you must book before entering the country.

Colour-Coded United Kingdom Travel Guidelines

Previously, the United Kingdom had launched a traffic-light system to categorise countries per their risk profiles. Countries are segregated into red, amber, and green lists. Travellers were required to abide by the norms subjected to the specific colour list under which their travel country falls. The UK authorities take the countries with the highest risk category passengers travelled last to in the previous 10 days into consideration while allowing or restricting entry. These guidelines also apply to transiting passengers.

Per the UK Travel Advisory, no country is on the red list, while the UK government has scrapped off the amber and green list. However, depending on the number of cases in specific countries, the UK Government may add those countries to the red list.

The Red List

If you have been to any country mentioned in the red list in the last 10 days before your travel to the UK, you will have to follow these UK travel regulations:

  • Take a Covid-19 viral test 3 days prior to your journey.
  • Pay and book for the quarantine package for 10 days.
  • Book and take 2 Covid-19 viral tests on arrival to the UK on day 2 and day 8.
  • Submit the completed passenger locator form.
  • The UK will ban travellers from the red list countries until further notice. Only British or Irish Nationals who have travelled to these countries are permitted entry into the UK.

Test-To-Release Scheme

  • You can end your quarantine early, i.e., on the 5th day, by opting for the test-to-release scheme and booking a private Covid-19 viral test.
  • If your test result is negative, you can end your quarantine. However, you still need to take another test on day 8.
  • If your test result is positive, you need to undergo quarantine for another 10 days. The 10 days will be counted from the day after you took the test or started showing symptoms.
  • If your test result is inconclusive, you will continue with your quarantine.

Note: The test-to-release scheme is not applicable for travellers from red list countries.

The Need For The Passenger Locator Form

The UK authorities issue a passenger locator form online to all travellers and use the details to contact you if a co-passenger becomes Covid-19 positive or check if you are following the Covid-19 rules and regulations while staying in the UK. As such, you must provide accurate details.

  • Fill your form by including the names of travellers under 18 if you both reside at the same UK address. The age limit is under 16 when travelling to Scotland.
  • Mention the multiple journeys on your form if you have entered the UK more than once within 48 hours.
  • Providing false or deliberately misleading information on the passenger locator form is deemed a criminal offence in the UK, which could lead to a fine, imprisonment, or both.
  • Once you have filled out the form, you will receive a QR code in your mail. Keep this form handy as proof of form completion.
  • Passengers travelling to Ireland, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man, falling under the job-exempt category and are not required to submit the passenger locator form.

Keep checking the UK Government website for any changes in the travel guidelines for UK during pandemic before planning your trip to the UK.

*Disclaimer: The information on UK Travel Guidelines is valid as of 11th November 2021 and is subject to change.

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