UK Introduces New International Travel System

The UK government will soon introduce some changes into the international travel system to facilitate entry to the country. These new regulations will enter into force on October, 4th.

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The United Kingdom government has announced the introduction of the new system which aims at simplifying the international movement of travellers. The new system will recognize two categories: red list countries and the remaining countries in the world.

The updated entry rules to be met by the passengers out of the red list will differ depending on a traveller?s status of vaccination. The simplified system is to become effective on 4th October at 4:00 am. 

Rules for travellers from red list

A traveller who has been in a country included on the red list  within the last 10 days, will be able to cross the border of the UK only if he/she is a British or Irish citizen/resident.

Before entering the UK, visitors from the red list countries need to:

  • take a COVID-19 test 72 hours prior to the planned trip;
  • cover the fee of a quarantine hotel package that include 2 obligatory COVID-19 tests (on or before the 2nd day and on or after the 8th day of stay in the country)
  • fill out a passenger locator form (48 hours prior to departure).

Upon arrival, they are obliged to:

  • undergone a 10-day quarantine in a hotel booked and paid before arrival;
  • take two obligatory COVID-19 tests (on or before the 2nd day and on or after the 8th day of stay in the country) 

Travel rules for the fully vaccinated citizens of the countries out of the red list

 Fully vaccinated citizens are only required to:

  • cover the fee for the COVID-19 test to be taken on/before the 2nd arrival day;
  • fill out a passenger locator form 48 hours prior to planned departure.

They are no longer obliged to:

  • pre-departure testing;
  • COVID-19 testing on the 8th day of stay in the UK;
  • a 10-day quarantine after arrival.

What are vaccination requirements for entry to the UK?

To be recognized as fully vaccinated, every traveller is required to have taken a full series of COVID-19 vaccination at least 2 weeks (14 days) before the planned date of entry to the UK. The manufacturer of the vaccination must be one of those approved by the UK government. More information about the authorized vaccination programs can be found here.

All fully vaccinated visitors to the UK must have an official COVID-19 vaccination proof (confirming that the vaccine was administered over 14 days before the date of arrival in the UK; the certificate needs to include such details as personal data of the vaccinated travellers, birth date, vaccine manufacturer, vaccination date (of every dose administered), and country where the certificate was issued. Fully vaccinated travellers who do not conform to the UK?s vaccination requirements are obliged to follow all the rules that apply to non-vaccinated visitors.

Travel rules for not fully vaccinated citizens of the countries out of the red list

Travelers not being fully vaccinated will have to:

  • undergo a 10-day quarantine at home or another place of their stay;
  • take a COVID-19 test on/before the 2nd day and on/after the 8th day of their stay in the UK;
  • isolate themselves for 10 days (at quarantine-dedicated place)

It is possible to end a quarantine period earlier under the rules of the Test to Release Scheme.

By the end of October, the UK government is also going to implement new rules concerning rapid testing upon arrival instead of testing on the 2nd day after arriving in England or Scotland. This change will apply to fully vaccinated travellers, and passengers not included on the red list. Those tested positive for coronavirus will be required to isolate themselves and take a PCR test. More details on these regulations will be released soon.

e-Visa to the United Kingdom

The United Kingdom offers two types of visas depending on the nationality of a traveller. The only difference between them concerns the procedures of application.e-Visa to the UK requires no Embassy visits, while when applying for a Standard Visitor Visa, an applicant is required firstly to submit an online application and then visit the Visa Application Centre in person to collect the approved visa. 

Standard Visitor Visa is obligatory for all foreigners visiting the UK who are not citizens coming from the visa-free countries. In turn, e-Visa to the UK is issued for citizens of Qatar, UAE, Oman, and Kuwait

Katarzyna Żyła
2021-09-29

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