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UK: COVID-19 Entry Requirements International Travelers Need To Know

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From architecture that spans back thousands of years such as the famous Roman baths to the cultures, landscapes and traditions, the UK is without a doubt is one of the most beautiful places to be on earth. 

Traveling to the UK is now possible for tourists from many countries to help cure that wanderlust that is still burning bright is so many of us. 

Here are all the most recent UK COVID-19 entry requirements and everything you need to know before you go.  

Bridge in london with tourist at sunrise

Important Update 2021

Starting January 5, 2021, the UK is in a nationwide lockdown for 6 weeks. During this time, leisure travel is not permitted. While technically the entry requirements for travelers are the same, hotel stays are banned, all retail is shut and there are restrictions about visiting private households, which effectively stop all tourism. 
Any traveler looking to enter the UK should rebook their trip for a later date.

Entry requirements continue below….

Public Health Passenger Locator Form

All visitors are required to fill out the Public Health Passenger Locator Form before they arrive in the United Kingdom. 

Failure to do so could result in being denied entry into the UK or fined £100 if you refuse to provide your contact details.

Fill out the Public Health Passenger Locator Form

Note* You do not need to complete the form or self-isolate if you’re travelling from Ireland, The Channel Islands and The Isle of Man and you were there for 14 days or more:

Belfast Northen Ireland city hall with tourists shopping

COVID-19 Testing Entry Requirements

Starting Monday, January 18, 2021, proof of a negative PCR test will be required by all arriving passengers into England, including citizens. 

The PCR test needs to be performed with results available no more than 72 hours prior to arrival.

Tourist wearing face mask in front of Big ben in london (1)

Quarantine Entry Requirements 

The UK’s “Travel Corridors” have been suspended for at least 4 weeks, starting Monday January 18, 2021. 60+ nations were on the travel corridor list at the time of suspension.

All arrivals will have to quarantine for 10 days.

Mandatory Hotel Quarantine

Arrivals from 30 high-risk nations, including UK citizens, will now have to complete their 10-day quarantine at a specified hotel, determined by the government. Arrivals from these ‘red’ countries will be escorted from the airport and placed into hotel quarantine at their cost. 

Important Note: Quarantine requirements may vary in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Test To Release Program

Starting on December 15, 2020, the UK implemented a new ‘test to release’ program for all arrivals coming from high-risk nations (nations not on the travel corridor list.)

All arrivals coming from high-risk nations will have to quarantine for 10-days, but they can perform a PCR test on day 5, and upon receiving the negative results, can leave quarantine early. 


COVID-19 Travel Insurance Entry Requirements 

Travel insurance is not mandatory but all incoming travelers should have travel insurance the covers COVID-19 for the duration of their trip to the UK.

COVID-19 Health Requirements While in the UK

All visitors must abide by the following COVID-19 health requirements while in United Kingdom

Face coverings must be worn in enclosed public spaces in England including subways, railways, bus stations and airports. Follow all social distancing signs.

Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have varying rules for face coverings.

Northern Ireland Lockdown

Please be aware that Northern Ireland is going into a 6-week lockdown starting December 26 that will greatly affect any travelers looking to visit during that time. 

Traveler wearing face mask in london subway

COVID-19 Vaccine Entry Requirements 

The United Kingdom has not made any announcements regarding if a proof of vaccination record will be required for entry in the future. 

Visa Entry Requirements For the United Kingdom During COVID-19

All travelers will still need to follow U.K. visa requirements. United Kingdom embassies around the world have reopened for visa applications.

Many countries are able to visit the UK for up to 90 days without a visa.

Check if you need a visa to enter the United Kingdom with this easy government tool.

Castle in Wales

UK Covid-19 Entry Requirements:

  1.  Fill out the Public Health Passenger Locator Form
  2. Check if your country requires a visa to visit the United Kingdom
  3. Check the latest countries exempt from quarantine.
  4. Follow all UK health protocols

For Breaking Travel Reopening News & Questions, Join Our: Facebook Community

Disclaimer: Current UK travel rules are changing without notice and being updated constantly. We do our best to keep this article up to date with all the latest information, but 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

Article originally published August 16, 2020 with updates

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George S Freese

Wednesday 31st of March 2021

What about vaccinated people with CDC card.

Kashlee Kucheran

Thursday 1st of April 2021

The UK is not making any exceptions to the entry rules for vaccinated passengers at this time


Tuesday 16th of March 2021

Hi I will be going to visit my cousin in the Uk ending of this month I’m I allowed to travel ?


Sunday 24th of January 2021

I am traveling from Canada and planning to visit my boyfriend in the UK and I am not able to find anywhere on the UK government website that states if visitors are allowed to enter. I just wanted to know if I would be denied entry into the UK to come in as a visitor? Thank you!

Kashlee Kucheran

Monday 25th of January 2021

It's very tricky right now. With a 72-hour pCR test and a 10-day quarantine, technically Canadians are allowed entry, however.... you are not to stay in anyone's household for your quarantine (so no BF's house for those 10 days) and right now with travel restrictions, hotels are designated only for essential/business travelers, plus with restrictions on travel between certain areas... it's essentially closed, but still technically partially open. Confused yet? Tomorrow they could also put into place that the 10-day quarantine must be done at a specific hotel, at your cost, which will make entry even harder and more costly.


Sunday 17th of January 2021

I am planning to see my girlfriend in the UK and visiting from Canada. Are there any other requirements needed for me to enter? will it be harder for them to let me in?

Kashlee Kucheran

Monday 18th of January 2021

The UK requires a 72-hour negative covid test to enter, PLUS a 10-day quarantine, but currently travel for tourism is not permitted. Hotels are not accepting anyone not traveling for an essential medical or business reason. Staying with your girlfriend is also not permitted, as mixing of households is currently not allowed. So while entry is still technically possible.. it's almost impossible to actually stay anywhere.


Thursday 14th of January 2021

You Guys, MANY thanks for doing this and trying to help everybody out. My question: is Transit through the UK for touristic reasons possible? (Germany-Gatwick, Heathrow- México .. 4hrs transit time and airport change in London). The only option to see my BF from the US. #loveisnotourism

Kashlee Kucheran

Thursday 14th of January 2021

I can honestly say I am not sure at this time, because there is the added element of needing to switch airports. I would contact Gatwick airport and ask them