New Covid Travel Rules: 4 October Update

There are big changes coming to the way we travel. Starting on Sunday, 4 October the UK’s new Covid travel rules will come into effect. Government rules can be confusing, so we’re here to help explain them in plain English. Here are some things you need to know:

LIVING in the UK

There is no more traffic light system

One thing we’ve got used to over the past year is asking if a country was on the Red, Amber, or Green travel list? Starting on 4 October these lists won’t exist anymore. From now on a country will either be on the Red list or it will not. Every country that is not on the Red List (“the rest of the world”) will be much easier to travel to.

Do I have to take Covid tests when I travel to the UK?

If you are fully vaccinated (more information on that later) you don’t have to take a Covid-19 test before you arrive in the UK. You must book and take a Day 2 PCR test to take after you arrive. The British government is talking about accepting other, cheaper tests (like the Lateral Flow Test) for travellers, but these tests are not accepted.

Do I still have to complete a Passenger Locator Form when I arrive in the UK?

Yes. You still have to complete a Passenger Locator Form. This can be done at any time in the 48 hours before you travel.

Do I have to quarantine when I arrive in the UK?

Again, if you are fully vaccinated, you don’t have to quarantine when you arrive in the UK as part of the new rules from 4 am on 4 October.

Vaccine

What does ‘fully vaccinated’ mean?

In a previous blog post, we gave you some information about vaccines that are accepted in the UK. In short, the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Janssen vaccines are all accepted in the UK. However, you need to have received the vaccine in the UK, USA, EU or several other countries. In addition, you must be able to prove you have completed the full dose of the vaccine (either 2 or 1 shot, depending on the brand) at least 14 days before you travel.

What if I’m not fully vaccinated?

If you are unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, or vaccinated less than 14 days before you travel, the travel rules will not change much on 4 October. For this group of people:

 

  • You must take a Covid-19 test before you fly
  • You must book and take Day 2 and Day 8 Covid tests in the UK
  • You must complete a Passenger Locator Form
  • You must quarantine for 10 days after you arrive in the UK

What about Red List countries?

If your trip outside the UK is to a Red List country, it doesn’t matter if you’ve been vaccinated or not. You must do everything in the list above and quarantine in an approved hotel after you’ve returned to the UK.

As the situation changes, we’ll keep our students (and the public) notified of any new rules and restrictions. Check back regularly for updates, and have safe and happy journeys!

  • You must take a Covid-19 test before you fly
  • You must book and take Day 2 and Day 8 Covid tests in the UK
  • You must complete a Passenger Locator Form
  • You must quarantine for 10 days after you arrive in the UK
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