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Britain Eases Restrictions For Vaccinated Travels

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Traveling to England just got a little easier. In an attempt to boost the tourism industry for the upcoming months, officials in London laid out a plan today that will ease Covid restrictions for international arrivals, according to Reuters. The changes for these travel rules are set to be in place starting October 4th.

Big Ben and red double decker bus in London, England

Britain’s updated travel rules state that fully vaccinated travelers coming from low-risk countries will no longer have to do a pre-departure Covid test, nor will they be required to take the pricey PCR lab Covid tests on arrival. Under the current restrictions, travelers have to do one pre-departure test and purchase two on arrival tests to take on day 2 and day 8. There’s been ongoing controversy around the high cost of the arrival tests, which cost 136 pounds (approximately $190 USD) for a set of two.

The official government website states that “the rules for travel from countries and territories not on the red list will depend on your vaccination status.”

A shot of a young man and woman and their two young boys being greeted at a bed and breakfast by their host. They are all wearing casual clothing, carrying luggage are outside a country home.

Traffic Light Safety Ranking System To Be Removed

The new travel rules outline that the traffic light system of red, amber and green for countries will also be scrapped. Instead, countries will simply be ranked as “low” or “high” risk, removing the middle ground “amber” ranking from the system.

As these changes go into effect, eight out of the 62 countries presently on the U.K.’s red list will be removed as of next Wednesday, September 22nd. Under the current guidance, any travelers coming from these red list/high-risk countries in the past ten days (including British passport holders) are required to quarantine in a government approved hotel upon arrival.

The countries to be removed from the red list are: Turkey, the Maldives, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Egypt, Oman, Kenya and Sri Lanka.

Young adult woman relaxing on a swing in a tropical paradise

Announcement Made By England’s Transport Minister

In his announcement today about the new travel rules, Transport Minister Grant Shapps stated that, “Today’s changes mean a simpler, more straightforward system. One with less testing and lower costs, allowing more people to travel, see loved ones or conduct business around the world while providing a boost for the travel industry.”

A hiker walks alongside a drystone wall stretching towards distant Buttermere on Warnscale / Buttermere Fell in Ennerdale, a valley in the Lake District, Cumrbia, England.

Travel Restrictions For Vaccinated and Unvaccinated Travelers

With the new guidance starting next month, vaccinated travelers arriving to England from low-risk countries will only have to take a Covid test on or before day 2 after arrival. Travelers must book and pay for the test themselves. Before traveling to England, you’ll also have to complete a passenger locator form.

Travelers that are not fully vaccinated and coming from any low-risk countries will have to show proof of a negative Covid test result before departure and self-isolate for 10 days upon arrival. They will also have to take a PCR test on day 2 and as well as day 8 after their arrival to England.

camden lock market at night in London

Limited Travel From High Risk Countries

These new travel rules for arrivals from red list/high-risk countries to England will still apply once they come into effect the morning of October 4th. Only British and Irish nationals and those who have resident rights in the U.K. will be able to enter England if they’ve been in a high-risk country in the last 10 days. Other foreign nationals will not be allowed, regardless of vaccination status.

For those permitted entry, all travelers will be required to take a Covid test no later than 3 days prior to departure, book a quarantine hotel and their two on arrival Covid tests and complete the passenger locator form.

Traveler in Mask in line for vaccine

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland To Set Their Own Guidance

The other countries in the U.K.– Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, are in the charge of setting their own individual travel rules. The British government makes the policies for England only.

train in scotland

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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling.  Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories


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Liberty

Saturday 18th of September 2021

Again - if the vaccines are effective, why is any country requiring a test of them? Oh, right, you can still catch covid and spread it after vaccination. But the vaccine prevents you from getting a severe case and dying, you say. Guess what does that, only better? Natural immunity. But countries aren't recognizing natural immunity, so you can't travel with only that. Right, because then we wouldn't "need" vaccine passports. But we need vaccine passports to return to normal! No, we do not. Much of the world has been open and living normally quite fine without them for well over a year.

And on and on with these people...

Christian

Saturday 18th of September 2021

Once again, vaccinated people still got entry requirements. So much for return to normal. Better stay away from those countries and from the vaccines.

David

Saturday 18th of September 2021

Will vaccinations be accepted from all countries? My wife is Brazilian and was vaccinated in Brazil. When Brazil moves to low risk (whenever that may be) will a vaccination letter be acceptable?

R

Saturday 18th of September 2021

They need to stop blackmailing people into getting the vaccine. This is some used car salesman type techniques

Allen g

Saturday 18th of September 2021

I have a question. I am doing a one day layover in the UK in October after these rules go into affect. I am a vaccinated traveler coming from Canada. So basically I am staying less than 24 hours.

What would that mean that I need to do?

Steve

Saturday 18th of September 2021

@Allen g, I just read that because I have a landslide layover in the future as well.

The following is from the https://www.gov.uk/guidance/red-amber-and-green-list-rules-for-entering-england#transiting-through-england

Passing through an airport in England while on the way to another country is called ‘transiting’. Some travellers call it a ‘layover’.

There are 2 types of transiting:

‘airside’ - you do not pass through UK border control before you leave on your connecting journey ‘landside’ - you do pass through UK border control, but come back through it and leave the UK within a short amount of time (usually 24 hours)

If you will be transiting through England, you need to do the following before you travel: take a COVID-19 test, complete the passenger locator form and select the following:

select ‘Stay in the UK’ under the Your travel plans section reply ‘I will be travelling for an exempt reason’ to the question about whether you are required to self-isolate on arrival, select the Exemption options, and then select ‘Transit Exemption’ This includes if you are transiting onto the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man. You may need to show evidence of onward travel and where you will be staying at the border .

Lee

Saturday 18th of September 2021

@Allen g, I would like to know also, I’m going to Spain to see family and thinking of getting a ticket with British Airways (Canada-> London -> Barcelona) can I do a transit in London ? Is there a website that explains if I can transit as a Canadian in London England ?