Coronavirus (COVID-19): jobs that qualify for travel exemptions

Jobs that qualify for exemptions from quarantine, passenger locator form or COVID testing requirements.



Entering the UK

To help protect the country from coronavirus (COVID-19), people travelling to the UK must do the following:

Before travel to the UK

On arrival

If you have been in a country on the travel ban red list in the 10 days before you arrive, you have to quarantine in a government approved hotel.

Travel from England

You are only allowed to travel abroad if you have a legally permitted reason to do so.

Anyone travelling abroad from England must complete a form to declare their legally permitted reason for overseas travel.

Jobs that qualify for travel exemptions

Some people don’t have to do some of the above things, because of the jobs they do.

This guidance lists the jobs that qualify for an exemption and tells people:

  • what they need to do, or not do
  • any conditions they will need to meet or evidence they will need to show

Travel corridors

Travel corridors are suspended.

Anyone who is not exempt will need to quarantine for 10 days on arrival in the UK.

Restrictions in the UK

Once in the UK, you must follow any local or national restrictions:


This guidance provides a high level summary of the international travel regulations.

Published 22 May 2020
Last updated 28 March 2021 + show all updates
  1. Updated guidance to reflect new COVID-19 testing regimes for UK inbound passengers coming into force on 6 April 2021.

  2. Further details about exemptions for essential and emergency work.

  3. Aviation and maritime crew exempted from red list country quarantine measures. Portugal (including Madeira and the Azores) is no longer on the red list.

  4. Exemptions for completing the declaration form for overseas travel added.

  5. Further details about testing, self-isolation and quarantine rules.

  6. Information about new testing, self-isolation and quarantine rules.

  7. Exemption for new domestic elite sportspersons removed.

  8. Added information on sector exemptions being removed for travel ban countries.

  9. Eight categories of jobs removed from exemptions.

  10. Added information on which jobs will no longer qualify for an exemption.

  11. All arrivals from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal (including Madeira and the Azores), Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela must self-isolate.

  12. Exemptions for COVID tests to enter England added.

  13. All arrivals from Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe must self-isolate.

  14. Reference to Euratom removed from relevant exemption.

  15. All arrivals from South Africa must self-isolate.

  16. Exemption for essential high-speed rail workers added.

  17. Requirement to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival in UK replaced by 10 day requirement.

  18. Exemptions added for certain senior executives, journalists, newly signed elite sportspersons, performing arts professionals, television production.

  19. Specialist technical workers - subsea telecommunications infrastructure added to list.

  20. Exemption for seasonal poultry workers added.

  21. Exemptions from the requirement to self-isolate removed for arrivals from Denmark.

  22. Offshore oil and gas workers added to exempt jobs list.

  23. Updated exemption for elite sportspersons and added exemptions for National Lottery and advertising productions.

  24. Update to exemption for seafarers.

  25. Healthcare workers removed from list.

  26. Updated to add exemptions for Scotland and information around exemptions for people travelling to the UK from some countries and territories.

  27. Updated travel details and new Coronavirus (COVID-19 guidance for travellers exempt from border rules in England.

  28. Updated to include information on self-isolation in Scotland and Wales.

  29. Exemptions to border rules that have been introduced due to coronavirus (COVID-19) have been extended to Scotland. Some rules in Scotland are different to those England and Northern Ireland.

  30. Updated to show that these exemptions now apply in Northern Ireland. Updated link to isolation rules in Northern Ireland.

  31. Updated to add links to the Public Health passenger locator form

  32. Updated to add information on what those exempt need to show at the border to enter the UK.

  33. First published.