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How do the England travel rules change today?

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Today is 4th October, which means that the coronavirus travel regulations for England are changing.

If you are fully vaccinated, it is definitely a change for the better.

If you are an adult and not fully vaccinated, it’s not looking too good. When returning to the UK from anywhere outside the Common Travel Area (the Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Ireland) you must quarantine for 10 days.

The official details are on gov.uk here and should obviously override anything written below.

How do the England travel rules change today?

These changes only apply to England, remember.

What counts as ‘fully vaccinated’?

There isn’t, unfortunately, a simple answer to this most basic of questions.

If you have been vaccinated in the UK, Europe or US then your vaccination qualifies without exception.

The ONLY other countries whose vaccinations are accepted are Australia, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bahrain, Brunei, Canada, Dominica, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates.

The only qualifying vaccinations allowed from the countries listed above are Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna and Janssen.

You must have had a complete course of an approved vaccine at least 14 days before you arrive in England. Mixed vaccinations are accepted from today.

If you were vaccinated in another country or your vaccination was not of an approved type then you are NOT treated as vaccinated under UK law.

With the exception of people vaccinated in the UK, US and EU, you must be able to provide a vaccine certificate which contains five prescribed pieces of information about you and your vaccinations. If you cannot produce this, you are treated as NOT vaccinated.

What about children?

The Government did not originally publish guidance for children, but gov.uk has recently been updated to say:

“The rules for fully vaccinated people will also apply if you are ….. under 18 and resident in the UK or one of the listed countries or territories with approved vaccination programmes”

All childred aged 5-17 will continue to require a ‘Day 2’ PCR test, as do adults.

How do the England travel rules change today?

What changes today (4th October)?

Are you fully vaccinated as per the definition above?

If so:

The ‘Amber List’ is scrapped for arrivals into the UK. The only ‘named’ list will be the ‘Red List’, plus everywhere else.

‘Fit To Fly’ tests are scrapped. You do not need to do a test before boarding your flight back to England.

You will still need to fill in a Passenger Locator Form before returning to the UK.

You will still need to book and pay for a PCR ‘Day 2’ test before returning to the UK. PCR tests are NOT being scrapped today. The reference number must be included on your Passenger Locator Form.

If you arriving from a ‘Red List’ country, you need to follow the guidelines below.

Are you NOT fully vaccinated as per the definition above?

If so:

The ‘Amber List’ is scrapped for arrivals into the UK. The only ‘named’ list will be the ‘Red List’, plus everywhere else.

You will need to take a ‘Fit To Fly’ coronavirus test (this does not need to be a PCR test) in the three days before you return to England.

You will still need to fill in a Passenger Locator Form before returning to the UK.

You will still need to book and pay for a PCR ‘Day 2’ and ‘Day 8’ test before returning to the UK. The reference number must be included on your Passenger Locator Form.

You will still need to quarantine at home or in the place you staying for 10 days. The ‘Test To Release’ scheme will allow you to leave quarantine on Day 5 if you take an additional PCR test

If you arriving from a ‘Red List’ country, you need to follow the guidelines below.

How do the England travel rules change today?

What are the ‘Red List’ rules?

The ‘Red List’ rules apply to everyone, irrespective of vaccination status, arriving from a country on the ‘Red List’.

The countries on the ‘Red List’ can be found here. The countries on this list will be reviewed later this week and many are expected to be removed.

Nothing changes today regarding entry if you have been in a ‘Red List’ country in the 10 days before entering the UK.

If you have transited in a ‘Red List’ country on your way to the UK, you must follow the ‘Red List’ rules. The Government has announced that this rule will be removed but no date has been set.

You will only be allowed to enter the  UK if you are a British or Irish national or you have residence rights in the UK.

You will need to take a ‘Fit To Fly’ coronavirus test (this does not need to be a PCR test) in the three days before you return to England.

You will need to fill in a Passenger Locator Form before returning to the UK.

You need to book a 10-day quarantine hotel package, which includes the two necessary tests.

When will PCR tests be dropped for ‘Day 2’ testing?

If you are fully vaccinated as per the definition above, the requirement to take a ‘Day 2’ PCR test will soon be replaced with a ‘Day 2’ lateral flow test.

This will be implemented ‘during October’ but no date has yet been set.

It is not clear what types of lateral flow test will be accepted or whether it must be medically supervised. The test will still need to be purchased in advance and a reference number added to your Passenger Locator Form.

For more information, the official details are on gov.uk here.

Comments (190)

  • Chris says:

    Why is Ireland in the Common Travel Area?
    It’s still a foreign country isn’t it?

    • GM says:

      It is, but politics. CTA longstanding: https://www.thebritishacademy.ac.uk/documents/98/CommonTravelAreaMoreThanJustTravel_1.pdf

      Including that Northern Ireland is part of the UK and they wouldn’t be too happy about being treated as foreign. Open and invisible border on the island of Ireland so hard to actually enforce anyway. If anyone wanted restrictions it should be Ireland on UK – infection rate in England is still sky high.

    • Anna says:

      It’s more than a travel area, it’s a long standing arrangement that residents of both countries can come and go freely and live and work as well. Nothing to do with the EU, though a lot of people get confused by this.

    • Bagoly says:

      Because after the Irish War of Independence the Home Office didn’t want to have to patrol the border, and the Dublin government was happy to go along with the fudge.

  • Frustrated with our Govt says:

    I’m eligible and fully vaccinated as per the new definition definitions (one in Barbados, one in UK), but still no one at NHS Direct has bothered to write the code to input the first one, so I can’t get a covid pas! I’ve been asking my GP, the vaccine centre, and Dominic Raab (my MP) to help for 8 weeks. Nothing, no one can offer any help or solution. It’s utter nonsense. And sadly, as I actually had very bad side effects (still suffering), I can’t take a third to push the NHS app to show ‘vaccinated’. Pathetic that the govt roll this out without bothering to insure the IT supports their rules.

    • Cambridge Dad says:

      1. Have you checked in the NHS App? https://www.nhsapp.service.nhs.uk/login

      My first jab didn’t show up in my vaccination history but the actual Covid-19 Pass for travel purposes was there OK, both jabs showing. Different databases.

      2. Have you asked people at [email protected] and [email protected] – a record of your UK jab should be there if you give your NHS number.

    • Tracey says:

      Phone 119. They had a team that opened to work on these sort of issues. Then it went on the back burner (though they didn’t say so officially) precisely to avoid people who didn’t get both their jabs via the NHS being able to claim they had done so. Now that this issue has gone away, as vaccines from 2 different countries are by and large accepted, I would hope they are going to sort this out.

    • Samuel Ohagan says:

      If you had your second dose in the uk, you should be able to get your nhs covid pass no problem, it will just show dose 2 of 2 but that’s fine, nobody will care. If your covid dose that you got in the uk says dose 1 of 2 then you need to get your GP to change it to say dose 2 of 2. You can do this by bringing it your proof that you got vaccinated in Barbados, they will add that one to your medical record and update your uk dose to say 2 of 2.

      I went through a similar process got my first dose in Scotland and my second dose in England and neither of them still haven’t showed up in the NHS app! I contacted my GP but as I managed to get my old GP in Scotland to add my English dose to the vaccine passport there I don’t really care too much about my vaccine not being in the NHS app. I figure if it’s still not been sorted 6 months after I get my second dose I’m just going to get my “booster jab” aka my “first dose” in england

      • Cambridge Dad says:

        My GP just plain refused to adjust my vaccination record mistake as I didn’t get my UK jabs through their surgery.

  • Binks says:

    I am travelling in November to a non red list country with my wife and 2 kids 5 and below. Both my wife and I aware double vaccinated. What are the rules for me to fly out (anything I need to bring to the airport re proving vaccination?) and what are the rules on my return?

    Many thanks.

  • Binks says:

    * both my wife and I are double vaccinated.

  • Binks says:

    We have had uk vaccines and flying out of England.

  • bday says:

    It’s also my birthday today!

  • Lucio says:

    Hi All
    I have tried looking for this information but couldn’t find.
    I have had Covid19 on the 9th of August/21 despite the fact I have had my 2x Astra shots, I guess because of it my symptoms were very mild.
    Anyway, on my NHS COVID pass section of the app shows both vaccinations and the positive test, and I’ve been warned that for the 6-months the PCR will show a positive result, so the question is:

    If I fly to Spain for 2-weeks this week (not for holidays), on my return, do I still need to book and pay for a PCR ‘Day 2’ test before returning to the UK.? Since it will show positive?

    Many Thanks
    LG

    • David says:

      It may not show positive. Yes you will still be required to do a day 2 pcr. I wouldn’t even bother taking it. Just use it for ref number on plf. I still have my 2x here from a month ago, unused.

    • Cambridge Dad says:

      Everybody travelling to UK – fully vaccinated or not – currently needs to book the Day 2 PCR test.

      I guess your real question would therefore be: if I take the test & it shows positive, would I need to quarantine/ self isolate for 10 days? Yes you would, if anybody got to know about your test result. So either don’t take the test – illegal but nobody checks. Or take it and ignore the result, as the chances of you having contracted Covid-19 for a second time and being infectious are incredibly small, maybe 1 in a million.

      • Lucio says:

        I must confess, I haven’t thought about the “what if”, Thanks

  • Felipe says:

    How it works for a weekend in London for fully vaccinated? I arrived on friday and then i need to do a test ro fly back on sunday?

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