The UK government has announced further easing of travel restrictions for fully vaccinated people arriving in the UK. The new rules include the abolition of all testing requirements for fully vaccinated travelers. The relaxation of the testing requirements does not apply to unvaccinated travelers.
NEW TRAVEL RULES FOR FULLY VACCINED TRAVELERS
Passengers arriving in the UK after 4:00 am on 11 February must:
- complete the Public Health Passenger Locating Form within 48 hours of departure; Immigration officers will ask for a copy of the completed form (paper or digital) upon arrival.
The new rules mean that fully vaccinated individuals are no longer required to:
- present a negative COVID-19 test on arrival in the UK;
- self isolation on arrival; and
- do a PCR or lateral flow test upon arrival in the UK.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE FULLY VACCINED?
To qualify as a fully vaccinated person, travelers must have been fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to arrival in the UK:
- with an approved two-dose or single-dose vaccine approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for the United Kingdom and the UK Vaccine Program Abroad, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for Europe, SwissMedic for Switzerland and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the United States;
- with a full course of the Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna or Janssen vaccines from a relevant public health authority 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; or
- under a formally approved COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada or Australia and have proof of participation (digital or paper) from a public health authority.
In addition, passengers must be able to demonstrate that they have been fully vaccinated (plus 14 days) with a document (digital or paper) from a national or national public health authority containing at least the following:
- first name and surname(s)
- date of birth
- vaccine brand and manufacturer
- date of vaccination for each dose
- country or area of vaccination and/or certificate issuer
Passengers who have been fully vaccinated in the United States must also prove that they are a resident of the United States.
If a person is fully vaccinated, but does not qualify under the fully vaccinated rules, they must follow the rules for unvaccinated individuals.
TRAVEL RULES FOR NON-VACCINED TRAVELERS
Before traveling to the UK, all unvaccinated passengers must:
- submit a negative COVID-19 test at least 48 hours before departure;
- complete the Public Health Passenger Search Form within 48 hours prior to travel, a copy of which (paper or digital) must be provided to Immigration officers upon arrival; and
- book and pay for two mandatory COVID-19 tests to be taken on or before day two and on or after day eight of arrival.
Non-vaccinated travelers no longer need to be quarantined upon arrival unless the COVID-19 PCR test is positive. If the PCR test is positive, individuals must self-isolate for 10 full days. The day the test is administered is considered day zero. The self-isolation period may be shortened at the start of day six if the COVID-19 tests on days five and six are both negative and taken 24 hours apart.