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UK Travel Update: New Rules for International Travellers

The UK government has updated the rules for international travellers with effect from 4 AM (BST). Monday, the 4th October 2021. In the present system, the countries are divided into three categories namely, red, amber and green according to the severity of the pandemic situation in each country. These categories would be dissolved and replaced with two lists i.e., red list countries and non-red list countries. Although the travellers from red list countries will have to follow the existing rules before and upon arrival in the UK, but for those who are travelling from the non-red list countries and territories, the rules will depend on their vaccination status.

However, the current rules are applicable for anyone who arrives in the UK before the 4th of October 2021.


For fully vaccinated travellers from non-red countries:


From 4 AM (BST) on the 4th October 2024, you will be considered as fully vaccinated if you are vaccinated either:

under an approved vaccination programme in the UK, Europe, USA or UK vaccine programme overseas

with a complete course of the Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna or Janssen vaccines from a relevant public health body in Australia, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bahrain, Brunei, Canada, Dominica, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan or the United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Formulations of the 4 listed vaccines, such as AstraZeneca Covishield, AstraZeneca Vaxzevria and Moderna Takeda, qualify as approved vaccines.


You must have had a complete course of an approved vaccine at least 14 days before you arrive in England.


Where 2 doses of a vaccine are required for a full course, you will be able to:

  • mix 2 different types of vaccine, for example, Oxford/AstraZeneca and Moderna

  • have the 2 vaccinations under 2 different approved programmes, for example, Australia and Japan, UK and USA, EU and Canada


The rules for fully vaccinated people will also apply if you are either:

  • under 18 and resident in the UK or one of the listed countries or territories with approved vaccination programmes

  • taking part in an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial in the UK, Australia, Canada or the USA

IIf you qualify as fully vaccinated you will have to

  • book and pay for a day 2 COVID-19 test – to be taken after arrival in England

  • complete your passenger locator form – any time in the 48 hours before you arrive in England

  • take a COVID-19 test on or before the day-2 after you arrive in England

Under the new rules, you will not need to

  • take a pre-departure test

  • take a day 8 COVID-19 test

  • quarantine at home or in the place you are staying for 10 days after you arrive in England

You must be able to prove that you have been fully vaccinated (plus 14 days) with a document (digital or paper-based) from a national or state-level public health body that includes, as a minimum:

forename and surname(s)

date of birth

vaccine brand and manufacturer

date of vaccination for every dose

country or territory of vaccination and/or certificate issuer

If your document from a public health body does not include the above information, you must follow the non-vaccinated rules. If not, you may be denied boarding.

If you are fully vaccinated in the USA, you will also need to prove that you are a resident of the USA.

If you are fully vaccinated but do not qualify under these fully vaccinated rules, you must follow the non-vaccinated rules.

For the travellers from non-red countries who are not fully vaccinated:

From 4 AM (BST) Monday, the 4th October, you must follow these rules if you:

do not qualify under the fully vaccinated rules

are partially vaccinated

are not vaccinated

Before you travel to England you must:

take a pre-departure COVID-19 test – to be taken in the 3 days before you travel to England

book and pay for day 2 and day 8 COVID-19 tests – to be taken after arrival in England

complete your passenger locator form – any time in the 48 hours before you arrive in England

After you arrive in England you must:

quarantine at home or in the place you are staying for 10 days

take a COVID-19 test on or before the day-2 and on or after the day-8

You may be able to end quarantine early if you pay for a private COVID-19 test through the Test to Release scheme.

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