News story

Travel update: new guidance for people vaccinated under WHO Emergency Use Listing and under 18s

From 4am Monday 22 November, COVID-19 vaccines on the WHO EUL will be recognised and all under-18s coming to England will be treated as fully vaccinated at the border.

Airport arrivals and departures sign.
  • vaccines listed under the WHO Emergency Use List will be recognised in government’s inbound travel rules
  • travel rules simplified further as all under-18s worldwide will be able to enter England without needing to self-isolate on arrival
  • changes come into force at 4am on Monday 22 November 2021

From 4am on Monday 22 November, the government will recognise vaccines on the World Health Organization’s Emergency Use Listing (WHO EUL). As a result, Sinovac, Sinopharm Beijing and Covaxin will be added to our list of approved vaccines for inbound travel, benefitting more fully vaccinated people from countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia and India. The US also recognises the vaccines on the WHO EUL for inbound travel.

Passengers who have been fully vaccinated and have received their vaccine certificate from one of over 135 approved countries and territories are not required to take a pre-departure test, day 8 test or self-isolate upon arrival. Instead, passengers will just need to pay for a lateral flow test to take before the end of their second day, post-arrival.

From 4am on Monday 22 November, we will recognise the following vaccines: Pfizer BioNTech, Oxford AstraZeneca (including Covishield), Moderna and Janssen (Johnson and Johnson), and WHO EUL including Sinovac, Sinopharm Beijing and Covaxin.

This comes as the government simplifies travel rules for all under-18s coming to England who will be treated as fully vaccinated at the border and will be exempt from self-isolation requirements on arrival, day 8 testing and pre-departure testing. They will only be required to take 1 post-arrival test and a confirmatory free PCR test if they test positive.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:

As we continue to recover from the pandemic and expand our recognition of international vaccines, today’s announcements mark the next step in our restart of international travel.

By also simplifying the rules for international travel for all under-18s coming to England, we’re bringing further good news for families looking to unite with loved ones, and another great boost for the travel sector.

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said:

Today’s announcement is another step forward for the travel industry, businesses and for family and friends wanting to reunite or go abroad.

The red list and quarantine system remain vital in protecting our borders and as we’ve said we will not hesitate to take action by adding countries to the red list if necessary.

The government keeps its border measures under review, including the red list, and will impose restrictions should there be a need to do so to protect public health.

The WHO EUL Procedure was brought in during the 2014 Ebola outbreak to assess vaccines for use and to support countries in accessing vaccines (and other selected products) during public health emergencies. Sinovac, Sinopharm Beijing and Covaxin are covered by the expansion to the WHO EUL, and around 1 billion doses of these vaccines have been delivered worldwide.

The news follows the recent removal of all countries and territories from the red list, though managed quarantine policy remains in place and we will continue to review the red list every 3 weeks.

Published 8 November 2021