UK Travel Restrictions: All You Need to Know Before Visiting

UK Travel Restrictions: All You Need to Know Before Visiting

Next stop: London Heathrow!

At the moment, the United Kingdom allows travellers from all countries to enter except for those listed on its Red List. At the time of writing, there are no countries currently on the list. However, there are different UK travel requirements depending on your vaccination status.

Travel requirements for fully vaccinated travellers

uk travel restrictions

Image credit: Heidi Fin

Generally, fully vaccinated travellers entering the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland) need to:

1. Complete a Passenger Locator Form within 48 hours before arriving in the UK.
2. Provide proof of vaccination. This can be in the form of a physical or digital vaccination cert from a national or state-level public health body. Just make sure to check the list of approved vaccines in the UK before travelling!
3. Ensure that you have a valid travel document: passport and if applicable, visa.

You will no longer need to take a pre-departure test to enter any of the UK’s territories. On-arrival testing and quarantine have also been scrapped for fully vaccinated travellers.

heathrow airport

Image credit: Belinda Fewings

Travel requirements for non-vaccinated travellers

If you are not fully vaccinated and travelling to the UK (England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland), you need to:

1. Complete a Passenger Locator Form 48 hours before arriving in the UK
2. Undergo a pre-departure COVID-19 test (PCR or Lateral Flow Test – LFT) no more than 48 hours before your journey. You must provide a negative test result before you travel.
3. Book and pay for a post-arrival PCR test. This should be taken on or before day 2 of your stay in the United Kingdom. You do not need to quarantine or self-isolate as you wait for your test result.

If you test positive, you will need to self-isolate for 10 days. However, you can end your isolation period positive by providing two negative LFT results taken 24 hours apart. In England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, you can take an LFT starting from Day 5, while in Scotland, you can request an LFT starting from Day 6.

Take note that England is currently poised to scrap all self-isolation laws on 24 February 2022. That being said, it is currently unclear if this will also apply for inbound non-vaccinated travellers.

Singapore – UK VTL

Singapore currently maintains a Vaccinated Travel Lane with the UK (Changi to London and Manchester) which allows quarantine-free travel between the two countries. There are no special UK travel requirements for VTL travellers from Singapore. However, you will have to take note of the requirements that Singapore imposes for VTL travellers arriving in the country

Local COVID restrictions in the UK

uk travel restrictions

Image credit: Massimo Virgilio

At the time of writing, most of the coronavirus-related restrictions in England have been lifted. You will no longer be legally required to wear a face mask in public unless when in a healthcare setting (such as hospitals), or when taking public transport in London. The self-isolation law for those who test positive will also be lifted on 24 February 2022. Instead, you will be strongly advised to stay at home. 

Also read: 14 Things to Do in London on Your Very First Visit

In Scotland, those who test positive will still be required to self-isolate. The legal requirement for face coverings and contact tracing regulations will remain in place until at least 21 March 2022.

uk travel restrictions

Image credit: Luke Jones

As for Northern Ireland, you will still be required to self-isolate if you test positive. However, visitors are no longer legally required to wear a face mask. The current law for wearing face masks in Wales will remain until 28 February 2022. After that, face masks will only be required in shops, salons, hairdressers, public transport, and health and social care. You must also self-isolate if you test positive.

Also read: Brush Up on British Slang: 12 Most Common Words and Expressions to Learn

Planning to finally make that much-awaited trip to the UK? Click here for more travel inspiration.


Featured image credit: Anastasiia Pyvovarova

About Author

Darren Yeoh
Darren Yeoh

Darren enjoys the finer things in life and loves exploring unfamiliar places on foot, guided with nothing but instinct and a good-old fashioned map. He enjoys cultural experiences and exciting adventures and is not a stranger to travelling alone. When he's not putting his travel experiences into words, he's probably sitting behind his laptop, planning his upcoming adventure.

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