From today (Monday, 4th October 2021) travel restrictions for fully vaccinated Brits returning to the UK will be almost scrapped entirely.
The ever-so confusing “traffic light system”, whereby countries are categorised as “green”, “amber”, or “red” depending on their Covid-19 infection rate, has also been simplified into two groups: “red” no-go destinations and “green” low-risk destinations.
British residents who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 will no longer need to take a pre-departure test before their return to the UK, take a Covid-19 test on day 8 of their arrival, or quarantine for 10 days upon their return – as long as they have not arrived in the UK from a destination on the “red” list.
In order to receive full vaccine status, travellers must have received their final vaccination at least 14-days before their return – the vaccinations received must also be part of the UK’s approved vaccine programme.
Travellers must be able to prove they are fully vaccinated with a digital or paper-based document from a national or state-level public health body (for example, the NHS) that details their full name, date of birth, vaccine brand and manufacture, date of vaccinations, and the country or territory of vaccination and/or certificate issuer. If the document does not include all of the above, then travellers must follow the non-vaccinated rules, as they may be denied boarding.
All travellers – apart from children under the age of five – will be required to book and take a PCR test two days after their arrival (Day 2 Covid-19 test). All passengers must still complete a passenger locator form 48 hours before their arrival to the UK.
Those who are not fully vaccinated will still be required to take a pre-departure test before their return to the UK, as well as a PCR test on days two and eight after they return. They must also self-isolate for 10 days at home.
Anyone arriving from a “red” list destination will continue to be required to isolate for 10 days in a quarantine hotel at their own expense. The hotel must be booked before they arrive in the UK and is mandatory regardless of vaccine status. It’s also worth being aware that this cost cannot be claimed back through a travel insurance policy.
While this is great for those desperate for a trip abroad, it is essential that travellers continue to monitor the FCDO’s travel guidance and entry requirements for the destination in which they plan to visit – as some destinations may still require visitors to arrive with proof of a negative Covid-19 test or evidence of being fully vaccinated.
Travellers who fail to arrive with the correct documentation and as a result are denied entry into the country will be unable to claim back any associated costs. For example, they will not be able to claim back the price of a return flight home or any related fines. Destination-specific information can be found here.