UK relaxes entry rules for fully vaccinated foreigners

  • UK will reduce testing requirement for eligible vaccinated foreign travelers upon their arrival.
  • Eligible fully vaccinated passengers will be able to replace their day 2 test with a cheaper lateral flow test.
  • Anyone testing positive will need to immediately isolate and take a confirmatory PCR test.

UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced today that starting on October 4, 2021, the UK government is considerably easing the entry regulations and requirements for the visitors from foreign countries.

UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps

New simplified system for international travel in light of the success of the UK’s domestic vaccine rollout, will provide greater stability for industry and passengers.

The current traffic light system will be replaced by a single red list of countries and territories which will continue to be crucial in order to protect public health, and simplified travel measures for arrivals from the rest of the world from Monday 4 October at 4am.

Testing requirements will also be reduced for eligible fully vaccinated travelers, who will no longer need to take a PDT when travelling to England from Monday 4 October 4am.

From the end of October, eligible fully vaccinated passengers and those with an approved vaccine from a select group of non-red countries will be able to replace their day 2 test with a cheaper lateral flow test, reducing the cost of tests on arrival into England. The government wants to introduce this by the end of October, aiming to have it in place for when people return from half-term breaks.

Anyone testing positive will need to isolate and take a confirmatory PCR test, at no additional cost to the traveler, which would be genomically sequenced to help identify new variants.

Testing for unvaccinated passengers from non-red countries will include pre-departure tests, day 2 and day 8 PCR tests. Test to release remains an option to reduce self-isolation period.

Passengers who aren’t recognized as being fully vaccinated with authorized vaccines and certificates under England’s international travel rules, will still have to take a pre-departure test, a day 2 and day 8 PCR test and self-isolate for 10 days upon their return from a non-red list country under the new two-tiered travel program. Test to Release will remain an option for unvaccinated passengers who wish to shorten their isolation period.

“We’re making testing easier for travel. From Mon 4 Oct, if you’re fully vax [vaccinated] you won’t need a pre-departure test before arrival into England from a non-red country and from later in Oct, will be able to replace the day 2 PCR test with a cheaper lateral flow,” Secretary Grant Shapps tweeted.

Sajid Javid, Health and Social Care Secretary, said: “Today we have simplified the travel rules to make them easier to understand and follow, opening up tourism and reducing the costs to go abroad.

“As global vaccination efforts continue to accelerate and more people gain protection from this dreadful disease, it is right that our rules and regulations keep pace.”

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