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Current Covid Travel Rules

Author: David Pettitt

What are the new travel rules?

From Monday 4th October, the traffic light system for overseas travel will be simplified with the most important change being the removal of the amber ‘traffic light’ category. As a result, all destinations will either be open for travel or red. The UK Government’s website provides detailed information on the updated travel rules.

How will the system work?

The rules for travel from countries and territories not on the red list will depend on your vaccination status. If you are fully vaccinated, and have complete a course of an approved vaccine at least 14 days before you arrive back into England, you will no longer need to take a pre-departure test before leaving for England, take a day 8 Covid-19 test or quarantine at home. For full information, click here.

Is there anything that I still need to do?

If you are fully vaccinated, you will still need to book and pay for a day 2 Covid-19 test which will need to be taken after arrival in England. You will also need to complete a passenger locator form – this can be done any time in the 48 hours before you arrive in England.

How do I prove my vaccination status?

Travellers can prove their vaccination status either using the main NHS app or with an official NHS letter. You must have had two weeks pass since your second dose of the vaccine to be eligible.

Passengers returning to England will also be asked to include their vaccination status on their Passenger Locator Form. Airlines and other transport carriers will check that a passenger's form is correct before they board.

Which countries are currently on the UK’s green list?

There are now a considerable number of countries on the UK’s green list and it is expected that this number will increase as we approach Monday 4th October. The full travel lists as published by the UK Government can be found here.

Does the change in travel rules automatically mean I can travel to a green list country?

Just because a country is on the UK’s green list, it still does not necessarily mean that you will be able to travel to it. This is because every country has its own Covid travel rules. To help you navigate these, and other, requirements, our travel specialists will be delighted to assist you and provide expert advice.

Can I travel domestically within the UK?

If you live in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland you are free to travel between each country. Fully vaccinated British Citizens can also enter the Republic of Ireland without the need to test or quarantine.

Aside from the Covid travel requirements what other things should be kept in mind?

If you are intending to travel, or even if you feel you might, we would strongly recommend that you check your passport to ensure that it has not expired over the last twelve months. The Passport Office has recently warned of considerable delays, in some cases up to ten weeks, so it is important that if you do need a new passport that you ensure that you make your application as soon as possible.

Similarly, if you are planning on taking a European holiday this year, our Brexit blog is a helpful resource to ensure that you are fully prepared for post-Brexit travel on the continent.

Confidence to travel

We are here to help you with all of your travel questions, to provide advice and recommendations and to ensure that you feel fully confident to travel this year and into the future. Aside from having access to up to date information on rules and requirements, both here in the UK and abroad, we also understand that flexibility, booking confidence and financial protection is, especially at this time, a very important factor when considering whether or not to travel.

Our Covid-19 Travel Promise aims to provide you with the confidence to book your holiday with us, safe in the knowledge that all of our holidays are ABTA and ATOL bonded, that there are low deposits available and that you have the flexibility to defer your holiday, rebook to a different destination or cancel up until the payment of your balance. If, following balance payment, your holiday destination is affected by FDCO advice that recommends against all but essential travel due to Covid-19 you are free to defer your holiday or, instead, cancel and receive a refund.

We also understand the importance of travel insurance, especially during the current pandemic. There are a number of insurance providers that provide cover for Covid-19 and we will be able to direct to the relevant resources.

Useful links

UK Government - Rules for entering England

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UK Government ‘travel abroad’ planner

UK Government Passport Office

UK Government Passenger Locator form

UK Government coronavirus testing for international arrivals

We are here to help

Please contact us here or call 01892 515 966 if you have any questions or queries on any aspects of travel. Our team will be delighted to assist you and to share their expertise and advice.

[Originally published 7th May 2021; last updated 22nd September 2021]

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