Guidance

Travel to England from another country during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Check what COVID-19 tests you need to take and the quarantine rules for travel to England.

Applies to England

Changes to international travel rules from 11 February 2022

If you arrive in England after 4am, 11 February, the following rules will apply.

Fully vaccinated – from 11 February

If you qualify as fully vaccinated for travel to England, you:

  • will not need to take a COVID-19 test before you travel to England or after you arrive
  • will not need to quarantine when you arrive

Check if you can follow the rules for people who are fully vaccinated – includes people aged 17 and under.

Not fully vaccinated – from 11 February

If you do not qualify as fully vaccinated for travel to England, you will need to:

  • show proof of a negative COVID-19 test – to be taken in the 2 days before you travel to England
  • book and pay for a COVID-19 PCR test – to be taken after you arrive in England

You will need to book the PCR test before you travel.

You will not need to quarantine, unless the result of the PCR test is positive.

Passenger locator form

You will still need to complete a passenger locator form before you travel to England, whether you qualify as fully vaccinated or not.

If you arrive in England before 4am, 11 February you must follow the current rules, as set out in this guidance below.

This page tells you what you must do before you travel to England and after you arrive.

What you must do depends on whether you qualify as fully vaccinated under the rules for travel to England.

There are different rules if you have been in a red list country or territory in the 10 days before you arrive in England. Red list rules apply whether you are fully vaccinated or not.

If you are fully vaccinated

This is what you need to do if you qualify under the fully vaccinated rules for travel to England.

Before you travel to England – fully vaccinated

Before you travel to England you must:

You will need to enter the booking reference for your COVID-19 test in the UK passenger locator form.

If you’re in England for less than 2 days, you still need to book and pay for a COVID-19 test to take after you arrive.

When you arrive in England – fully vaccinated

You do not need to quarantine when you arrive in England.

You must take a COVID-19 test. This is the test that you booked before travel. You can book either a lateral flow test or a PCR test.

You can take the test any time after you arrive and before the end of day 2 at the latest. The day you arrive is day 0.

If your test result is positive, you must self-isolate.

If your lateral flow test result is positive, you must also take a PCR test.

Read separate guidance on what you must do if your test result is positive.

Check if you qualify as fully vaccinated

To qualify under the fully vaccinated rules for travel to England, you must have proof of full vaccination with a full course of an approved vaccine.

You must have had your final dose of the vaccine at least 14 days before you arrive in England. The day you had your final dose does not count as one of the 14 days.

The proof of vaccination must have been issued by either:

  • the UK vaccination programme
  • the United Nations vaccine programme for staff and volunteers
  • an overseas vaccination programme with an approved proof of vaccination for travel to the UK

Natural immunity

Proof of natural immunity will not be accepted as an alternative to proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test.

Children and other groups that can follow fully vaccinated rules

Even if you are not fully vaccinated, the fully vaccinated rules apply if you are:

  • under 18 - see Travelling with children in this guidance
  • taking part in an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial in the UK or the USA (US residents only for USA trials), or a phase 2 or 3 vaccine trial that is regulated by the EMA or SRA
  • unable to have a COVID-19 vaccination for a medical reason which has been approved by a clinician under the medical exemptions process, and you are resident in England

Read about applying for a medical exemption from vaccination using the NHS COVID Pass if you live in England.

Proving your vaccination status

If you are fully vaccinated under the UK vaccination programme, you can prove your vaccination status using either:

You can also use the NHS COVID Pass letter, which you can request via the NHS 119 service or online via NHS.UK. You cannot use the paper card you receive following your vaccination as proof of vaccination.

There are different ways to prove your vaccination status if you were vaccinated outside of the UK.

Check what proof is required for the country or territory where you were vaccinated.

If you cannot prove that you qualify under the fully vaccinated rules, you must follow the rules for people who are not fully vaccinated.

Red list countries

There are different rules if you have been in a red list country in the 10 days before you arrive in England.

Check which countries and territories are on the red list and read the red list rules.

If you are not fully vaccinated

This is what you need to do if you do not qualify under the fully vaccinated rules for travel to England.

Check this section of this guidance to see if you qualify as fully vaccinated.

Before you travel to England – not fully vaccinated

Before you travel to England you must:

You will need to enter the booking reference for your day 2 and day 8 tests in the UK passenger locator form.

Read more about taking a COVID-19 test before you travel to England.

When you arrive in England – not fully vaccinated

After you arrive in England you must:

You must take the first test on or before day 2 and the second test on or after day 8. The day you arrive is day 0.

If you are in England for less than 10 days, you need to quarantine for the time you are here. You need to book day 2 and day 8 PCR tests. You only need to take the tests if you are still in England on those days.

If the test result is positive

If your day 2 test is positive, you must self-isolate for 10 full days. The day you took the test is day 0.

You do not need to take the day 8 test if your day 2 test is positive. If your day 2 test is negative, you must take your day 8 test.

If your day 8 test is positive, you must self-isolate for 10 full days. The day you took the day 8 test is day 0.

If the test result is negative

If your day 2 test is negative, you must continue to quarantine.

You must take your day 8 test on or after day 8.

If your day 8 test is negative, you can stop quarantine on whichever is later:

  • day 10 – day 0 is the day you arrived in England
  • when you receive the day 8 test result

Example

If you receive your day 8 negative test result back on day 9, you must continue to quarantine until the end of day 10.

If you receive your day 8 negative test result back on day 12, you must quarantine until the end of day 12.

If the test result is unclear

If the result of your day 2 test is unclear, you must self-isolate for 10 full days. The day you took the test is day 0.

If the result of your day 8 test is negative, you can stop self-isolating on whichever is later:

  • day 10 - day 0 is the day you arrived in England
  • the day you received the negative day 8 test result

If your day 8 test is unclear, you must self-isolate for 10 full days. The day you took the day 8 test is day 0.

You can choose to take another private test. If that test result is a negative result, you can stop self-isolating on whichever is later:

  • day 10 - day 0 is the day you arrive in England
  • the day you received the negative replacement test result from the additional test

Test to Release scheme

If you need to quarantine, you may be able to end quarantine early if you pay for a private COVID-19 test through the Test to Release scheme.

Red list countries

There are different rules if you have been in a red list country in the 10 days before you arrive in England.

Check which countries and territories are on the red list and read the red list rules.

Travelling with children

Children aged 4 and under do not have to take any COVID-19 travel tests.

Children aged 5 to 17 have to follow the testing and quarantine rules for people who qualify as fully vaccinated on arrival in England.

This means that they have to take a COVID-19 test after they arrive in England – before the end of day 2 at the latest.

Check the rules in this guidance for people who qualify as fully vaccinated for travel to England for more details.

You should also check the rules in the country you are travelling from as they may require children to take a test at the start of your journey to England.

There are different rules for children who have been in a red list country or territory in the 10 days before they arrive in England.

Some people cannot be fully vaccinated for medical reasons.

Read more about medical exemptions from vaccination.

There are also medical exemptions from:

Some people are exempt from some or all of the requirements because of the job they do.

Transiting through England

Read separate guidance if you are transiting through England as part of an international journey.

Ireland, the UK, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man

If you’re travelling to England from within the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man, you do not need to:

  • complete a passenger locator form
  • take any COVID-19 tests
  • quarantine on arrival in England

This only applies if you have not been outside of the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man in the 10 days before the day you arrive in England. If you have, you must follow the international travel rules in the place where you arrive.

See separate guidance on travel within the Common Travel Area after international travel.

Red list countries and territories

There are different rules if you have been in a red list country or territory in the 10 days before you arrive in England. If you need to follow red list rules, you must do so if you are fully vaccinated or not.

Check which countries and territories are on the red list and read the red list rules.

Travel abroad from England

Read guidance about what you need to do to travel abroad from England.

Published 22 June 2021
Last updated 24 January 2022 + show all updates
  1. The testing and quarantine rules for international travel to England will change 11 February 2022.

  2. You can now choose a lateral flow test or a PCR test as your post arrival test.

  3. From 4am 7 January you do not have to quarantine on arrival in England if you qualify as fully vaccinated for travel to England.

  4. Changes to rules for fully vaccinated people travelling to England from 4am 7 January 2022.

  5. People who qualify as fully vaccinated for travel to England can now end self-isolation after 7 days with 2 negative lateral flow tests.

  6. Further information about quarantine rules for children aged 4 and under.

  7. People aged 12 years and over must COVID-19 test before they travel to England from abroad.

  8. From 4am, Tuesday 7 December all people aged 12 years and over must also take a PCR or LFD COVID-19 test before they travel to England from abroad.

  9. People who qualify as fully vaccinated must quarantine and take a PCR test before the end of day 2 after they arrive in England. Lateral flow tests will not be accepted.

  10. From 4am 30 November 2021, fully vaccinated people must self-isolate and take a PCR test before the end of day 2 after they arrive in England. They may leave self-isolation if their PCR result is negative. Lateral flow tests will not be accepted.

  11. South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia and Zimbabwe will move onto the red list at 12.00 midday Friday 26 November. A temporary flight ban will be in place and all travellers who have been in these countries must quarantine and take tests.

  12. Travel to England rules for children no longer depend on their place of residence.

  13. Clarification about unclear or inconclusive test results.

  14. From 4am 22 November 2021, all children aged 17 and under will not have to quarantine on arrival in England.

  15. People who qualify as fully vaccinated for travel to England can book a lateral flow test for use from 24 October instead of a PCR test.

  16. From 22 October, if you qualify as fully vaccinated for travel to England, you will be able to book an antigen lateral flow device (LFD) test instead of a PCR for your ‘on arrival’ test.

  17. Rule changes for international travel to England for people who qualify as fully vaccinated.

  18. Changes to amber list rules on quarantine and testing.

  19. First published.