October 1, 2021
New UK Covid Travel Rules: Everything You Need to Know
In a move that has been welcomed by lots of holidaymakers from the UK, the COVID travel rules are set to be simplified from October this year. The often-confusing traffic light system, along with mandatory PCR tests upon return, are set to be scrapped for double-jabbed travellers. From October, the green, amber and red lists of countries are no longer going to be in place; instead, there will be a single red list of places where hotel quarantine will be required upon your return to the UK.
What are the New Rules for Vaccinated Travellers?
For countries that are not on the new red list, there will be much simpler controls in place. Fully vaccinated travellers returning from the rest of the world will no longer need to get a COVID-19 test done in the country that they visited before returning to the UK. From the end of October, expensive PCR tests are also set to be scrapped for double-jabbed travellers, who will be able to take a lateral flow test instead. However, you will still need to get a private COVID test rather than using the free ones provided by the NHS. Check out My Health Care Clinic for more details on how to get a private COVID test in England. My Health Care Clinic provide a range of COVID-19 testing products for travel and more.
Rules for Unvaccinated Travellers
If you do not have both doses of the vaccine, the rules are going to be different. With many countries around the world asking travellers to prove either that they are fully vaccinated or that they have had a negative COVID-19 test result recently to enter, you will be required to pay for a fit-to-fly test before departure if you are not double-jabbed. Bear in mind that some countries, including Turkey which has recently been moved from the red list onto the new ‘go’ list, currently requires all travellers to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test before entry regardless of vaccination status. Unvaccinated travellers will also have to take a pre-departure test and two PCR tests to take upon returning to the UK, which must be purchased privately. Unvaccinated travellers are also required to self-isolate for ten days upon their return.
Rules for Travelling to Red List Countries
The green and amber list may have been scrapped, but the red list is still in place with some popular countries including Thailand and the Maldives listed as ‘no go’ areas. While this may change in the future, there are stricter rules in place for those who want to visit these countries, regardless of vaccination status. If you visit a country that is on the red list, you will be subject to mandatory hotel quarantine upon your return to the UK for ten days, which can cost around £2k per person. In addition, you will also be required to pay for two PCR tests during this time.
The rules for travelling out of and back to the UK are becoming much simpler, easier and cheaper for vaccinated travellers in the coming weeks.