Guidance for British people travelling abroad during the coronavirus pandemic, if they are able to travel under current UK COVID-19 restrictions.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) travel
To prevent new COVID variants from entering the UK, you should not travel to amber or red list countries.
To understand the risks in a country follow FCDO Travel Advice.
When you return, follow the rules to enter the UK from abroad (except from Ireland).
FCDO travel advice during COVID
Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) travel advice sets out COVID-19 and other risks that you may face if you travel abroad.
We continue to advise against all non-essential international travel to some countries and territories. You should check the country page for your destination. We also currently advise against cruise ship travel.
We are monitoring the international situation closely and keeping our advice under constant review, so that it reflects our latest assessment of risks to British people. We take a range of factors into account. For COVID-19, this includes the incidence rate and the resilience of healthcare provision in each country. Find out more about how our travel advice works.
Plan for your travel
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect international travel. No travel is risk-free, and many countries have closed their borders or restricted entry to UK travellers. Any country may further restrict travel or bring in new rules at short notice, for example due to a new COVID-19 variant.
Read the guidance for your personal circumstances before deciding whether you should travel abroad. If you travel abroad, even if you are returning to a place you have visited before, follow this checklist:
1. Before you travel
- follow current COVID-19 rules for where you live, in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
- subscribe to travel advice email alerts for your destination, and countries you will transit through, so you’ll know if we update our advice with new and important information
- check for entry restrictions, testing, or quarantine requirements in our travel advice or contact the UK-based embassy for your destination country
- if you need a negative COVID-19 test to enter a country, you should use a private test provider. The NHS Test and Trace service cannot provide the documents you need
- if you live in England and have had a full vaccine course (2 doses), you will be able to demonstrate your COVID-19 vaccination status using an app or letter to enter some countries and territories. Read travel advice entry requirements to check if the country you plan to travel to accepts this proof of vaccinated status
- read about your rights and responsibilities before, during and after travel in the passenger COVID-19 charter
- if you’re flying, read the safer air travel guidance
- you must wear a face covering on flights in England and Scotland
- read National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) guidance
- ask your accommodation provider about their COVID-19 safety measures
- read the advice of local authorities and follow local health requirements during your journey and at your destination. Local and international travel restrictions may change before or during your stay
- get travel insurance with the appropriate level of cover
- check your cancellation rights. Contact your tour operator, transport and accommodation providers if you have questions
- use the travel abroad step-by-step guidance to make sure you’re fully prepared
From May 17 you no longer need to complete an international travel declaration form to travel abroad from England.
2. When you’re abroad
- continue to follow updates to travel advice, as there may be changes for your destination
- be prepared to comply with changing restrictions to manage local COVID-19 outbreaks, such as border closures, movement restrictions, testing and quarantine requirements
- if you test positive for COVID-19, you may need to seek treatment where you are, and stay until you have recovered. If local authorities tell you to quarantine, you should expect to do that where you are
- travel restrictions may unexpectedly delay your return home. Plan for possible delays. Make sure you have access to money and have made practical arrangements to be away for longer than planned
- if delays occur, you should keep in contact with your travel company or airline for any changes to transport schedules
- stay up-to-date with changes to the Red, amber and green list rules for entering England or for Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. The rules may change before you return
- read our guidance if you are unable to return to the UK due to COVID-19
3. Prepare to return to the UK
Before you enter the UK you must:
- take a COVID-19 test up to 3 days before departure. You will need to show a negative test result when you arrive in the UK, including if you are returning home. Read further information on testing for travel to England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland from abroad
- fill in and submit your passenger locator form in the 48 hours before you arrive in the UK
- if you are returning to England from:
- a country on the red list, or you have transited through one in the past 10 days, you must book to stay in a managed quarantine hotel
- a country on the amber list, or you have transited through one in the past 10 days, you must book COVID tests under the quarantine rules for arriving into England
- a country on the green list, you must book a day 2 COVID test
- any country, check the list of people who are exempt from border restrictions
- Ireland or another country in the Common Travel Area, these rules do not apply to your travel
- if you are returning to:
- Scotland, check the Red, amber and green list countries for Scotland
- Wales, check the rules for foreign travel to Wales which include red, amber and green list countries
- Northern Ireland, check the foreign travel advice for Northern Ireland with links to guidance for red, amber and green list countries and the Common Travel Area
4. When you arrive in the UK
Follow the rules that apply for the country or countries that you have visited, when you enter the UK from abroad, unless you are exempt.
Consular help from the FCDO
If FCDO travel advice changes when you are abroad
Our travel advice may change while you are in a country to advise against all travel there, or all but essential travel, because of new COVID-19 risks.
If this happens, we do not advise you to return immediately to the UK. Instead, you should follow the local advice on any restrictions the local authorities are taking to control the virus before your return to the UK.
If you decide to shorten your stay abroad because of a change in travel advice, you should:
- contact your airline and travel company to discuss your options
- take the actions to prepare to return to the UK
If changes relating to a new COVID-19 variant mean you cannot return from travel abroad
If you’re travelling abroad and unable to return to the UK, contact your airline or travel provider for advice. You can also contact your nearest British embassy, high commission or consulate for urgent assistance.
Your mental wellbeing
Your emotional and mental wellbeing is important. Keep in regular contact with the people who usually support you: family, friends and colleagues, especially if you are in quarantine abroad.
Read guidance on how to look after your wellbeing and mental health if you’re abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 health advice
The NaTHNaC provides general advice on preparing for foreign travel and how to reduce the spread of respiratory viruses.
If you live abroad permanently
If you live abroad permanently, follow the advice of local authorities where you live. Check our travel advice pages for information on COVID-19 restrictions in individual countries.
COVID-19 vaccines if you live abroad
Wherever possible British nationals should aim to be vaccinated in their country of residence. We will share information on other countries’ national COVID-19 vaccine programmes on our travel advice pages as they are announced. You can sign up to get email notifications when a country’s travel advice page is updated.
If you live overseas find out about COVID-19 vaccines available locally, and contact your healthcare provider for further advice. They can share the latest information about the national vaccination programme in the country where you live.
The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is the UK authority responsible for assessing the safety, quality and efficacy of vaccines. It has authorised the Pfizer/BioNTech, Oxford/AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines for temporary supply and use in the UK. Find out more about MHRA approval for these vaccines.
British nationals living overseas should seek medical advice from their local healthcare provider in the country where they reside. Information about COVID-19 vaccines used in other national programmes, including regulatory status, should be available from the local authorities. This list of Stringent Regulatory Authorities recognised by the World Health Organisation may also be a useful source of additional information.