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.
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.
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.
You must have administered the full dose of the following vaccines at least 14 days before your arrival in England.
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.
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.
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:
Note: The test-to-release scheme is not applicable for travellers from red list countries.
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.
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.