Rules on international travel relaxed for fully vaccinated

Added 18/09/2021

The government has announced that the rules for international travel are to be simplified and testing for fully vaccinated travellers returning to England will be relaxed.  

  • From Monday 4 October the traffic light system will be scrapped and replaced with a single red list of countries we should not travel to.
  • It was also announced that 8 countries will be taken off the red list from 22 September, including Turkey, the Maldives, Egypt and Sri Lanka.
  • The testing regime will be relaxed if you are fully vaccinated.  From 4 October you will no longer be required to take a covid test before you return to England.
  • From the end of October, fully vaccinated passengers will also no longer need to take an expensive PCR test within 2 days of their arrival home.  They will be able to take a cheaper lateral flow test instead.   The intention is for this change to be in place by the end of October in time for people returning home from half term breaks.  Anyone testing positive would need to isolate and take a confirmatory PCR test.

Those who are unvaccinated will be required to take a pre-departure test before they leave for England as well as day 2 and 8 PCR tests, they will also have to isolate at home for 10 days.

All passengers will need to fill in a Passenger Locator Form ahead of travel.

Returning from a country on the red list will still require all travellers, whether vaccinated or not, to quarantine in a government approved hotel for 11 nights at their own expense.

These new rules will just apply to England to start with as the devolved nations make their own decision on rules for international travel.

Depending on the entry requirements of the country you are visiting you may still need to take a test before you leave for your holiday.  Check the FCDO travel advice for your destination for details.

Further information

Full details on the new rules:

How to prove you are fully vaccinated:

Travel insurance

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office recommend that you have travel insurance in place whenever you travel abroad. It is also important to ensure that all pre-existing medical conditions are covered.