UK entry requirements during Covid-19


There are special rules if you’re planning to arrive in the UK. This includes if you’re coming back to the UK after spending time abroad. What you must do when you arrive in England from abroad depends on where you have been in the last 10 days before you arrive. People planning to travel to the UK should follow the guidelines before entering.


Entry rules in response to coronavirus (COVID-19)

Before you travel to the UK, you’ll also need to book a test for day 2 after you arrive in the UK.

You’ll need to book a second test for day 8 after you arrive in the UK if you’ve been in France or countries on the red list. You’ll also need to book a second test if all of the following apply:

  • you’ve been in countries on the amber list
  • you’re at least 18 years old
  • you’re not fully vaccinated

Children under 5 years old don’t need to take any tests.

If a test shows you have coronavirus, you’ll have to quarantine until 10 days after your positive test.

Under current rules, international students can travel to the UK. On 5 July, the UK government announced a plan to remove most Covid-19 restrictions by 19 July 2021, meaning an end to social distancing measures and caps on the numbers of people allowed to meet.

Scotland has also announced a plan to lift restrictions by 9 August, while Wales and Northern Ireland are expected to announce a similar easing of measures very soon.

To travel to the UK, everyone must fill in a passenger locator form and submit it within 48 hours before they arrive in the country. The form will ask for passport information, travel details, and the address you will be staying at in the UK. You can complete the form online via the UK government website.

As of January 2021, you must have proof of a negative Covid-19 test to enter the UK, wherever you travel from. This test must be taken no more than three days before your departure. You must do this even if you have been vaccinated for Covid-19. Your negative test result can be shown at the border as a printed document, an email, or a text on your device (make sure it’s charged!), and it must include information such as your date of birth, the result of your test, and the date the test sample was collected among others.

The UK has also implemented a traffic light system with different travelling expectations for countries depending on their own Covid-19 levels. This traffic light system is expected to stay in place after lifting other restrictions on 19 July. You can check the status of your country and what is required for travelling from each level here.

If you are an international student with a Tier 4/new student visa, a biometric visa or pre-settled/settled status under the European Union settlement scheme, you should be exempt from the red-list ban, because you have “residence rights”.

In England, quarantining in a hotel will cost £1,750 per passenger travelling alone, to cover transport, tests, food and accommodation. Every additional adult costs £650. You can book through this online booking system. You are not eligible to leave quarantine early under the Test to Release scheme if you are travelling from a red-list country.

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