Well as we pass 4 am in the morning on the 4th October, entry to the United Kingdom has changed its entry criteria for visitors and those returning home.
Let us see what’s changed and how it will impact you the traveller.
The previous country criteria where countries were categorized into Green, Amber or Red list counties has been swept away. The Green and Amber list countries have been merged into a “Rest of the World” List.
The Red List will remain intact for now.
The requirement for a pre-departure test has also been removed in some cases too, leading to reduced costs.
Let’s work through some case scenarios
Coming in from a “Rest of the World List”, Fully Vaccinated from an approved vaccination programme in the UK, Europe, USA or UK vaccine programme overseas.
- You will no longer have to complete a pre-departure test.
- You will need to complete a passenger locator form
- You will need to complete a Day 2 PCR test
You must have completed a full course of the Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna or Janssen vaccines from a relevant public health body in Australia, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bahrain, Brunei, Canada, Dominica, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan or the United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Formulations of the 4 listed vaccines, such as AstraZeneca Covishield, AstraZeneca Vaxzevria and Moderna Takeda, qualify as approved vaccines.
You must have had a complete course of an approved vaccine at least 14 days before you arrive in England.
Coming in from a “Rest of the World List” who are unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, or do not qualify for the above
- Take a pre-departure COVID-19 test – to be taken in the 3 days before you travel to England
- Book and pay for day 2 and day 8 COVID-19 tests – to be taken after arrival in England
- Complete your passenger locator form – any time in the 48 hours before you arrive in Englan
On arrival to the UK
- quarantine at home or in the place you are staying for 10 days
- take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8
You may be able to end quarantine early if you pay for a private COVID-19 test through the Test to Release scheme.
Coming in from a Red List Country:
From a red list country, the following rules apply, if you are fully vaccinated, partially vaccinated or not vaccinated
- take a pre-departure COVID-19 test – to be taken in the 3 days before you travel to England
- book a quarantine hotel package, including 2 COVID-19 tests
- complete your passenger locator form – any time in the 48 hours before you arrive in England
Note, that no “Test to release” option is available.
Red List Countries are at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/red-amber-and-green-list-rules-for-entering-england#red-list
England is planning to switch from PCR tests as a Day 2 test to Lateral Flow Tests shortly – with the government aiming to make this change around the Half-Term holiday (end of October)
Note that country reviews will still take place every three weeks as usual.
Where can I find out more?
The official government advice is at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/red-amber-and-green-list-rules-for-entering-england#new-rules.
As usual, I urge you to check them before you travel.
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