International travel - Update on 19 July 2021
Before you travel abroad
Follow these steps:
Check the rules for the country or territory you’re going to.
Find out what you need to do when you return to England.
Book any tests or quarantine hotel packages you need.
From 17 May, the ‘Stay in the UK’ regulation will cease and international travel will be allowed to restart, governed by a new traffic light system. The system will allow the public to understand COVID requirements when travelling to England. Health measures at the border will vary depending on whether travelling from a green, amber or red country. You can see the full list of countries in each category here.
Returning from a green or amber list country or territory
Find a coronavirus (COVID-19) travel test provider to book the tests you need if you’ve been in a country or territory on the green or amber list in the 10 days before you arrive in England.
If you have been in an amber list country or territory, you may be able to end quarantine early if you arrange and pay for a private COVID-19 test as part of the Test to Release scheme.
Changes for fully vaccinated UK arrivals -2 August 2021
The Government will be extending the policy on fully vaccinated passengers arriving from amber list countries to include those who have been vaccinated in the United States and in Europe (EU Member States, EFTA countries and a number of European microstate countries). Separate rules will continue to apply for those arriving from France, following the persistent presence of cases in France of the Beta variant, which was first identified in South Africa. This marks a critical next step in efforts to restart economic links with key partners and recognises the value of transatlantic and European routes for both individual travellers and the economic recovery of the sector.
The changes will come into force on Monday 2 August at 04:00 and will mean that those vaccinated in the US and in Europe will not have to take a day 8 test or quarantine. They will, however, still be required to take a pre departure test before arrival into England as well as a PCR test on or before day 2 after arrival. Any positive results will be genomically sequenced to continue to manage the risk from importing variants. The rules will also apply to British nationals vaccinated in these countries and returning to England.
Children under 18 who are ordinarily resident in the US and Europe will also be exempt from quarantine and the day 8 test. Children aged 11 and over will still need to complete a pre departure and day 2 test. Children between the ages of 5 and 10 will only need to complete a day 2 test, and children aged 4 and under do not need to take any tests.
Passengers vaccinated in Europe by a vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency (and those vaccinated as part of the vaccine rollout in Switzerland) will be required to provide proof via an EU Digital COVID Certificate, and those vaccinated in the US will be required to provide proof via the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Card. The policy does not currently cover those who have proof of recovery from COVID-19.
This is just the first step in recognising vaccines given in other countries. We recognise that there are UK nationals resident in countries not included in today’s announcement who have been fully vaccinated, which is why we are working with international partners to ensure that our certification regimes are robust and we will extend this policy further in due course.
Finally, following engagement with the sector and taking account of the evidence from the restart of domestic cruise earlier this year, international cruises will also now fully restart in line with the traffic light system. FCDO advice on international cruise travel advice will be amended to encourage travellers to understand the risks associated with cruise travel and take personal responsibility for their own safety abroad.
As health matters are devolved, the Devolved Administrations will confirm their respective positions in due course.
You should make sure that your passport and NHS COVID Pass are up to date with your latest details, including your name and date of birth. If the details do not match, you may have to complete another passenger locator form, face delays, or even be denied boarding.
If your personal details have changed, for example because you have changed your name, you should have evidence as to why your personal details are different.
France – important information
The amber list rules for fully UK vaccinated people does not apply to France. If you have been in France in the 10 days before you arrive in England, you must follow the standard amber list rules.
This means you must quarantine for 10 days on arrival in England and take day 2 and day 8 COVID-19 tests. You will need to book these tests in advance.
When you complete your passenger locator form you must choose ‘No / Prefer not to say’ when asked if you are exempt from the requirement to quarantine and take a day 8 test. This is under the section of the form titled ‘Your coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination status’.
The traffic light system will be reviewed through a series of checkpoints in June, July and October, taking into account the latest domestic and international data.