Foreign travel advice


Important COVID-19 travel guidance

Under current UK COVID-19 restrictions, you must stay at home. You must not leave home or travel, including internationally, unless you have a legally permitted reason to do so. Check the rules that apply to you in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

If you intend to travel to England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland from outside the Common Travel Area, including UK nationals returning home from travel abroad, you must provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result taken up to 3 days before departure. This testing requirement does not apply to travel from Ireland.

Before you return to the UK you must provide your journey and contact details. You must self-isolate when you enter the UK from any foreign country except Ireland, unless you have a valid exemption.

If you are legally permitted to travel abroad, check our advice on your country of destination. Some other countries have closed borders, and may further restrict movement or bring in new rules including testing requirements with little warning.


Travel to Ireland is subject to entry restrictions

  • From Saturday 16 January 2021, all passengers arriving at Irish ports and airports will be required to have evidence of a negative/ ‘not detected’ test from a pre-departure Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) COVID-19 test taken no more than 72 hours prior to arrival in Ireland. This continues to apply to arrivals from Great Britain or South Africa. For information on self-isolation requirements on arrival please see our section on Entry Requirements. People arriving in Ireland without evidence of a negative/‘not-detected’ test result will commit an offence and may be subject to prosecution, punishable by a fine not exceeding €2,500 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or both. Passengers whose journey originates in Northern Ireland are not in scope of this announcement but any such travel is subject to the public health restrictions in place in Northern Ireland and Ireland respectively.
  • For information, please see here list of private providers of Covid-19 testing in the UK for international travel. If testing for travel to Ireland, ensure it is a PCR test.
  • Travel to UK from Ireland is still possible, but disruption is also possible and you should check the local UK guidance in place at your destination. If you are due to travel to or from Ireland please check with your travel operator. Further updates will be published when they are available. Check our advice on things to consider, and be prepared to stay overseas longer than planned
  • For travel from EU/EEA countries Ireland is implementing the EU ‘traffic lights’ approach to travel.

See Entry requirements for more information before you plan to travel.

Check our advice on foreign travel during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and sign up for email alerts for this travel advice.

If you’re planning travel to Ireland, find out what you need to know about coronavirus there in the Coronavirus section.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to get travel insurance and check it provides sufficient cover. See the FCDO’s guidance on foreign travel insurance.

Around 3 million British nationals visit Ireland each year. Most visits are trouble free.

You should carry an acceptable form of photo-identification to travel between the UK and Ireland. See Entry requirements

Terrorist attacks in Ireland can’t be ruled out. See Terrorism

If you’re living in or moving to Ireland, visit our Living in Ireland guide in addition to this travel advice.

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.