Covid: Major Changes to UK Travel Rules

Friday February 11, 2022 at 1:17pm
Covid:  Major Changes to UK Travel Rules

Date of Release:  11th February 2022

Major changes to the UK’s coronavirus (COVID-19) travel rules have come into force, effective from 4.00am on 11th February.  Overall, this will make international journeys cheaper and easier for passengers, particularly ahead of the school half term.

The relaxation in requirements is thanks to the success of the UK’s vaccine and booster rollout. It means that eligible fully vaccinated travellers arriving in the UK no longer need to take any COVID-19 tests – resulting in the UK having one of the most free-flowing borders and open societies in Europe.

Eligible fully vaccinated travellers are, therefore, only required to fill out a simplified passenger locator form, confirming their vaccination status, travel history and contact details.

Also, from 11th February, arrivals who do not qualify as fully vaccinated will only need to take a pre-departure test in the two days before they depart for the UK and a PCR test on or before the end of day 2 after they arrive in the UK, as well as completing the passenger locator form. These passengers will not need to self-isolate on arrival and will only need to do so if they test positive.

While the red list will continue to remain on standby as the UK’s first line of defence against future variants of concern arriving from abroad, the UK Government is looking to replace the hotel quarantine policy with other contingency measures including home isolation – provided a sufficiently robust digital solution to ensure compliance with home isolation can be found. Further details on this contingency will be set out in the Spring.

In summary:

             Fully vaccinated travellers (two doses) and under-18s no longer need to take a test either before or after they arrive in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

             To qualify as vaccinated, non-UK travellers must have received their jabs in a country or territory with "approved proof of vaccination". This now covers most countries in the world, with more - including China - due to join on 11 February.

             Unvaccinated travellers still have to show proof of a negative Covid test taken two days before departure.

             They must also take a post-arrival PCR test two days after arrival. This must be booked before travelling to the UK and bought privately from a government-approved list of providers.  If this is positive, they need to self-isolate.

             Unvaccinated travellers no longer have to self-isolate on arrival or take a test on day eight.


Those residing on the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands should follow any updates released by individual administrations.

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