If you are travelling to the UK from another country, there are multiple rules that need to be followed due to Covid-19.
Updates to the Covid-19 travel rules
If you are fully vaccinated and you arrive after 4am on 11th February 2022:
- You do not have to take a PCR or LFD COVID-19 test before or after you travel to England from abroad
- You will not need to quarantine when you arrive
If you are not fully vaccinated and arrive after 4am on 11th February 2022:
- You need to take a Covid-19 test before you travel to England (to be taken in the 2 days before you travel)
- You need to book and pay for a PCR test after you arrive in England
- You do not need to self-isolate (unless your PCR test is positive – in which case you need to self-isolate and take a free PCR test)
Current Covid-19 travel rules
Who is considered fully vaccinated?
Not every vaccine is fully recognized in the UK. As a result, to qualify as ‘fully vaccinated’ in the UK you would need to have received 2 doses of a UK-approved vaccine.
Currently the following vaccines are recognised in the UK:
- Novavax (Nuvaxovid and Covovax)
- Pfizer BioNTech
- Sinopharm Beijing
You must have received 2 doses of the approved vaccine. This includes if you had a combination of the vaccines for your 2 doses (i.e. Moderna / Pfizer BioNTech or Oxford/AstraZeneca and Sinopharm Beijing). However, if you have had an approved vaccine which requires only one dose – Janssen – you will be considered fully vaccinated.
Formulations of the approved vaccines, such as AstraZeneca Covishield, AstraZeneca Vaxzevria and Moderna Takeda, would also qualify you as ‘fully vaccinated’.
Finally, you must have completed the course (received 2 doses of the approved vaccine), at least 14 days before you arrive in England.
What to do if you are fully vaccinated
You do not need to take a PCR or LFD COVID-19 test before you travel to England from abroad if you arrive after 4am on 9th January 2022.
You must also prove your vaccination status. This can either be issued by a UK vaccination programme, or an overseas vaccination programme (that is approved by the UK – check the list of approved countries here).
If you are fully vaccinated under the UK vaccination programme, you can prove your vaccination status using one of the following:
- NHS COVID Pass for England and Wales
- NHS Scotland COVID Status app
- COVIDCert NI in Northern Ireland
If you are fully vaccinated under an overseas programme, you can prove your vaccination status by presenting a vaccine certificate. The vaccine certificate must be issued by a national or state-level public health authority, be in English, French or Spanish, and include as a minimum:
- your forename and surname(s)
- your date of birth
- vaccine brand and manufacturer
- date of vaccination for every dose
- country or territory of vaccination and/or certificate issuer
You must complete a passenger locator form, giving relevant details of your full vaccination status.
If you arrive after 9th January 2022 you will need to take either a lateral flow or a PCR test after you arrive in England. You need to pre-book the test.
If your test result is positive you must self-isolate for 10 days (members of your household may also be asked to self-isolate with you). The 10-day quarantine also applies if your test result is ‘unclear’.
What to do if you’re not fully vaccinated
If you don’t qualify as ‘fully vaccinated’ in the UK, you must take a Covid-19 test up to 3 days before you travel to the UK. You must also book and pay for both Day 2 and Day 8 Covid-19 PCR tests to be taken in the UK. And you need to complete the passenger locator form. When you arrive in England, you must quarantine for 10 days.
If your PCR test result is positive, you will need to quarantine for 10 days starting from the day you tested positive. This also applies if your test result is ‘unclear’.
You can also opt in to the Test to Release scheme. This gives you the option to take a Day 5 test (which you must also book and pay for), which, if negative, will allow you to end your quarantine early. However, you must still take the Day 8 test, even after you are out of quarantine.
What if I’m transiting through England?
If you are fully vaccinated and are transiting through England (do not pass through the UK border control), you do not need to take a Covid-19 test before travelling to England.
If you are not fully vaccinated you will need to take a Covid-19 test 2 days before you travel to England.