United Kingdom (Travel Restrictions, COVID Tests & Quarantine Requirements)

This page was last updated on 25 February, 2021.

 

At a Glance

Travel Restrictions

Tourist Entry: Partially Allowed
Testing: Negative PCR test is required for all countries.
Quarantine Required: Depends
Quarantine Details: Self-quarantine for 10 days is required for all countries. There are exemptions to this rule, mainly for lorry drivers, seasonal farmworkers, and coronavirus medics.

Local Restrictions

Lockdown in Effect: Partial
Events: Partially Allowed
Transport: Operational with restrictions
Shopping: Essential only
Restaurants and Bars: Open with restrictions
 

Detailed Travel Advisory

Published 18.02.2021
1. Passengers who have been in or transited through Angola, Argentina, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Burundi, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Congo (Dem. Rep.), Ecuador, Eswatini, French Guiana, Guyana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, Suriname, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Venezuela, Zambia or Zimbabwe in the past 10 days are not allowed to enter.
This does not apply to:
– British nationals;
– nationals of Ireland (Rep.);
– residents of the United Kingdom.
2. Passengers are subject to quarantine for 10 days. Details can be found for:
– England at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/booking-and-staying-in-a-quarantine-hotel-when-you-arrive-in-england ;
– Scotland at: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-public-health-checks-at-borders/pages/self-isolation/ ;
– Wales at: https://gov.wales/how-self-isolate-when-you-travel-wales-coronavirus-covid-19 ;
– Northern Ireland at: https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/coronavirus-covid-19-international-travel-advice .
3. Passengers are subject to a Coronavirus (COVID-19) test on day 2 and day 8 after arrival at their own expense. They must have a payment confirmation obtained at: https://quarantinehotelbookings.ctmportal.co.uk/ .
4. Passengers entering or transiting through the United Kingdom must complete a “Public Health Passenger Locator Form” .This will generate a QR code. The form can be obtained at https://www.gov.uk/provide-journey-contact-details-before-travel-uk and must be presented at time of check-in and to immigration upon arrival.
– This does not apply to military personnel with an exemption letter from the Ministry of Defence.
5. Passengers entering or transiting through the United Kingdom must have a medical certificate with a negative Coronavirus (COVID-19) test result. The test must have been taken at most 3 days before departure of the last direct flight to the United Kingdom. Tests accepted are: antigen, LAMP, nucleic acid and PCR . The certificate must be in English, French or Spanish.
– This does not apply to:
– passengers younger than 11 years;
– passengers arriving from Ireland (Rep.);
– merchant seamen;
– military personnel with an exemption letter from the Ministry of Defense;
– more exemptions can be found at https://tinyurl.com/yytxv2cp .
6. Passengers arriving in England who have been in or transited through Angola, Argentina, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Burundi, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Congo (Dem. Rep.), Ecuador, Eswatini, French Guiana, Guyana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, Suriname, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Venezuela, Zambia or Zimbabwe in the past 10 days must:
– have a quarantine package for 11 nights; and
– arrive at Birmingham (BHX), Farnborough (FAB), Gatwick (LGW), Heathrow (LHR) or London City (LCY).
More details can be found at https://quarantinehotelbookings.ctmportal.co.uk/ .
– This does not apply to military personnel with an exemption letter from the Ministry of Defence.
7. Passengers arriving in Scotland must have a quarantine package for 11 nights. More details can be found at https://quarantinehotelbookings.ctmportal.co.uk/ .
– This does not apply to military personnel with an exemption letter from the Ministry of Defence.
8. Flights from United Arab Emirates are suspended.

 

Detailed Tourist Information

Passengers who have been in or transited through high-risk countries in the past 10 days are banned from entry. The high-risk countries include Angola, Argentina, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Burundi, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Eswatini, French Guiana, Guyana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal (including Madeira and the Azores), Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, Suriname, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Uruguay, Venezuela, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. You can see the latest updated list on gov.uk.

British citizens and residents and Irish citizens are allowed entry from these high-risk countries but must self-isolate for 10 days.

Starting February 15, travelers from these high-risk countries will be required to quarantine in government-designated hotels, at their own expense. The cost of the quarantine as well as other details will be released before February 15. Note that Scotland is planning to apply the hotel quarantine to all travelers, not just those from the high-risk/red-list countries (more details to be announced soon).

Travelers (including UK citizens and residents) are required to present a negative COVID-19 test. Check the details along with exemptions for England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

Individuals who arrive in the UK have to self-quarantine for 10 days. There are exemptions to this rule, mainly for lorry drivers, seasonal farmworkers, and coronavirus medics. All details and a full list of exemptions is available on gov.uk. Travelers must also complete the public health passenger locator form before they arrive.

Travelers from most countries are able to reduce the self-quarantine time to 5 days via the test-to-release program. They will have to book and pay for a test from a government-approved provider.

The UK is now under lockdown due to the faster spread of a new COVID-19 variant, and non-essential travel within the UK is not allowed. Hotels and Airbnbs are not allowed to host tourists and can only accommodate essential travel.
 

Lockdown Details

The closures vary significantly depending on whether you’re in :

England (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/local-restriction-tiers-what-you-need-to-know)
Wales (https://gov.wales/coronavirus)
Scotland (https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/)
or Northern Ireland (https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/campaigns/coronavirus-covid-19)

Nationwide, restaurants and pubs aren’t allowed to operate past 10 p.m. This restriction is expected to last into 2021.

Face masks are mandatory on public transportation and in many other public settings such as in shops, supermarkets, and other enclosed public spaces. Rules vary depending on whether you’re in England, Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland. See all the detailed rules for each region on gov.uk.

Even when not mandatory, people are encouraged to wear face masks in all enclosed public spaces, particularly when social distancing is not possible.
 

Sources

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-travel-corridors#stay-up-to-date
Data Source: covidcontrols.co