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COVID-19 Update

Date Published: 21 March 2020
Last Updated: 30 November 2021

Omicron variant Update

Following the UK Government press conference on 27th November 2021, please see the updated UK international arrivals and COVID-19 measures, in light of the Omicron variant, below.

New temporary and precautionary measures:

  • All international arrivals must take a PCR test before the end of Day 2 on arrival and self-isolate until they receive a negative result.
  • All contacts of suspected Omicron cases must self-isolate, regardless of their vaccination status. They will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace.
  • Face coverings will be made compulsory in shops and on public transport from next week. All hospitality settings will be exempt.

New rules for travelling to England from a red list country:

Before you travel to England you must:

You must follow this protocol even if you are fully vaccinated.

When you arrive in England from a red list country you must quarantine in a managed hotel and take 2 COVID-19 tests.

Arrival procedure

For students travelling to the UK from overseas from 17 May 2021 at the earliest, there will be different restrictions applied to students arriving from overseas (known as the ‘traffic light system’) depending on level of risk. Risk will be based on factors such as the level of community transmission, variants of concern, levels of testing, genomic sequencing and reporting.

Guidance for England

Travellers from red listed countries

if you have been in a red list country or territory in the 10 days before you arrive.

If you have been in or travelled through a country or territory on the red list in the 10 days before you arrive in England, you will only be allowed to enter the UK if you either:

  • are a British or Irish National
  • have residence rights in the UK

If you live in England, you should not travel to countries or territories on the red list.

There are different rules for entering England if you have not been in a red list country or territory.

Before you travel to England – red list rules

Before you travel to England you must:

You must do this even if you are fully vaccinated.

Read more about taking a COVID-19 test before you travel to England.

When you arrive in England – red list rules

When you arrive in England you must quarantine in a managed hotel, and take 2 COVID-19 tests.

You must do this even if you are fully vaccinated.

If you are not fully vaccinated

This is what you need to do if you do not qualify under the fully vaccinated rules for travel to England.

Check this section of this guidance to see if you qualify as fully vaccinated.

Before you travel to England – not fully vaccinated

Before you travel to England you must:

Read more about taking a COVID-19 test before you travel to England.

When you arrive in England – not fully vaccinated

After you arrive in England you must:

You must take the first test on or before day 2 and the second test on or after day 8. The day you arrive is day 0. If your day 2 test is positive you do not have to take a day 8 test.

If you are in England for less than 10 days, you need to quarantine for the time you are here. You need to book day 2 and day 8 PCR tests. You only need to take the tests if you are still in England on those days.

If the test result is positive

If you test positive on your day 2 or day 8 test, you must self-isolate for 10 full days. The day you took the test is day 0.

Members of your household may also be asked to self-isolate.

 

For more information click here

Guidance for wales

Arriving from a red list country

When travelling to the UK from a red list country (or if you have passed through a red list country within 10 days of your arrival in the UK), you cannot travel directly to Wales and must enter through a designated port in England or Scotland.

Travellers arriving from a red list country must:

Post arrival tests and managed quarantine must be booked before your departure, through the CTM portal. Book your tests and hotel quarantine on the CTM portal.

Should your address or contact details change whilst you are in managed quarantine then you must update this as and when required by submitting a new passenger locator form.

 

Travellers who are not fully vaccinated

People arriving in Wales who have been in a red list country in the previous 10 days, must follow the rules for arriving from a red list country.

People arriving in Wales who are not fully vaccinated and have not been in a red list country in the previous 10 days must:

Post arrival tests must be booked before your departure either:

On the CTM booking portal you can book an NHS COVID-19 PCR test for £68.

If you choose a private test provider from GOV.UK, you should only buy ‘self-swab at home’ tests. Please note, any reference to your arrival in England on the GOV.UK pages for day 2 and day 8 test providers include arrival in Wales.

Should your address or contact details change whilst you are in Wales then you must update this as and when required by submitting a new passenger locator form (on GOV.UK).

For more information click here

Guidance for Scotland

Before travelling to Scotland from a red list country, you’ll need to:

On arrival in Scotland, you must quarantine in the hotel you’ve booked for 10 days. If you test positive for COVID-19 while in quarantine, you may need to quarantine for longer.

Non-red list countries and territories

Over 18, fully vaccinated and travelling from non-red list countries and territories

If you’ve not been in a country or territory that is on Scotland’s red list within 10 days of arriving in Scotland, and you’re fully vaccinated, you must:

Vaccine status and day 2 test

Before you travel you’ll need to make sure you have a record of your vaccination. You’ll need to show this when you travel.

If you have been vaccinated in:

  • Scotland: you can use the NHS Scotland Vaccine Status app or get a paper record of vaccination from NHS Inform
  • an EU member state, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino or Vatican City: you can get proof of vaccination through the European Digital COVID certificate
  • the US, and you normally live there: you’ll need to take your CDC card when you travel and provide proof of your US address

You must provide a booking reference for your day 2 test, and declare that you have been fully vaccinated, when filling in your passenger locator form (PLF).

You will not need to isolate unless:

  • the result of the COVID-19 test you’ve taken on day 2 after arriving back in Scotland is positive
  • NHS Scotland Test and Protect contact you to let you know that you need to isolate as you’ve travelled with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19

If you’ve been in a country or area on the red list in the 10 days before arriving in Scotland, you’ll need to follow the rules for red list countries.

 

Over 18, not fully vaccinated and travelling from non-red list countries

If you’ve not been in a red list country and you’re not fully vaccinated, you must:

On arrival in Scotland you must:

If you travel, you must follow the rules that are in place for a country or area at your time of travel. You should think carefully before booking holidays abroad. Travelling abroad carries a risk of bringing new cases and variants of COVID-19 into Scotland.

Under 18 and travelling from non-red list countries

As long as they have not been in a red list country in the 10 days before arriving in Scotland, children under 18 do not need to:

  • take a test before they travel to Scotland
  • self-isolate when they arrive, as long as they either normally live in the UK, EU or US, or are a dependent of someone who has been fully vaccinated overseas 

If your child is aged 11 to 17, they must take a COVID-19 PCR test within 2 days of arriving in Scotland.

Children under 11 do not need to take this test.

Children who have been in a red list country in the 10 days before arriving in Scotland must follow the normal rules for red list arrivals

Further information on the changes is available here

Guidance for Northern Ireland

Travelling from red list countries- requirments

If you plan to travel to Northern Ireland having been in, or transited through one of the countries on the list above in the previous 10 days, you must follow the rules below.

Before you travel to Northern Ireland, you must:

  • complete a UK Passenger Locator Form on arrival or in the 48 hours before arrival in Northern Ireland
  • provide proof of a negative pre-departure COVID-19 test(external link opens in a new window taken in the three days before you travel to Northern Ireland
  • book and pay for a managed isolation package(external link opens in a new  tab (managed quarantine hotel), which includes your day two and day eight PCR tests

After you arrive in Northern Ireland, you must travel directly from your port of arrival to your managed quarantine hotel to begin your period of managed isolation (hotel quarantine).

 

Travelling from non-red list countries if you’re fully vaccinated

If you have been fully vaccinated for at least 14 days you must:

  • complete a UK Passenger Locator Form on arrival or in the 48 hours before arrival in Northern Ireland
  • before travelling, book and pay for a day two PCR test to be taken on or before day two following your arrival in Northern Ireland
  • be able to prove that you have been fully vaccinated with a document (digital or paper-based) from a national or state level public health body that includes, as a minimum:
    • your forename and surname(s)
    • your date of birth
    • vaccine brand and manufacturer
    • date of vaccination for each dose
    • country or territory of vaccination and/ or certificate issuer

Travelling from non-red list countries if you’re not fully vaccinated

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 Northern Ireland you must:

  • complete a UK Passenger Locator Form on arrival or in the 48 hours before arrival in Northern Ireland
  • take a pre-departure COVID-19 test in the three days before you travel to Northern Ireland
  • book and pay for a day two and day eight PCR post-arrival test package

After you arrive in Northern Ireland you must

  • self-isolate for 10 days at the address you provided on your Passenger Locator Form
  • take a COVID-19 PCR test on or before day two and on or after day eight of your stay

You cannot leave self-isolation until you have completed your 10-day isolation period and only then if your day eight test was negative.

 

Vaccination status

To qualify as ‘fully vaccinated’ you must have been fully vaccinated for at least 14 days either:

  • under an approved vaccination programme in the UK or the UK vaccination programme overseas
  • under the United Nations vaccination programme for staff and volunteers
  • with a full course of the Oxford/ AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna or Janssen vaccines  or a mix of two-dose vaccines (Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, and Moderna) from a relevant public health body. Learn More

Further information on the changes is available here

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